Many of you are probably familiar with the trend of “dog shaming.” It consists of taking a photo of your dog next to a sign describing a naughty thing they have done, preferably with evidence of the misdeed.
I’m not a complete wet blanket. Many of these are done with love and with a twinkle in the owner’s eye. They are adorable and make me smile. But as a positive reinforcement trainer the concept rubs me the wrong way because of the persistent misunderstandings our society has about dogs and their behavior. The things the dogs do are natural doggie behaviors that we, as the ones with the big brains and the keys to the food cupboards, usually could have prevented if we considered them undesirable. In other words, in many cases it should be the owner in the photo next to a “shaming” sign.
So I thought it was a great idea when Stephanie Coleman of Caninestein started a counter-trend and contest on her FaceBook page of “No Shaming, More Faming.” In the spirit of positive reinforcement, take a picture of your dog next to a sign describing something great that they do. Catch your dog doing something right. Show the world.
I hope others will join me. Let’s get out there and show that dogs are just as cute doing good stuff! (Good on you, Sharon and Barnum, for taking up the torch!)
Shout out to Sue Ailsby’s Training Levels once again, for helping me train these behaviors.
Back to our regular programming next week. Thanks for viewing!
Topics coming up:
- How shock collar training works
- When Premack is not the best choice
- Est-ce que votre chien veut VRAIMENT être caressé ? (Does your dog REALLY want to be petted?–the French version!)