Don’t be misled; many pet professionals still rely on outdated training practices and cultural myths while ignoring the growing body of science that proposes specific, humane methods and approaches.

Listed below are just some of the abusive practices still seen across the dog training industry:

  • Hanging – the dog is raised off the floor by his collar or a leash, in some cases, until he loses consciousness.
  • Swinging – the dog is swung around with his feet off the floor by his collar or leash.
  • Slamming – the dog is lifted up and slammed into the floor or wall
  • Shocking – electric shock is administered through a collar around the dog’s neck, stomach, or genital area.
  • Multiple shocking – more than one electric shock collar is attached to a dog around the neck, stomach, and/or genitalia.
  • Alpha roll – the dog is purposefully rolled onto his back to control and intimidate, often paired with harsh, loud, and offensive verbiage.
  • Kicking, hitting, prodding – the dog is physically assaulted with a human body part or a prod-type instrument.


Is this really so different from a public policy that accepts the use by a medical professional of alcohol as an anesthetic or leather arm cuffs as restraints as standard operating procedures?

We are now able to know better.

In most professions that involve counseling, mental health, education, or training, there is a professional expectation and, indeed, a legal mandate that, no matter what the field, a professional must practice according to the best, most reliable and up-to-date scientific research available.

My advice to pet owners is to stay away from pet professionals who have made no effort to garner education or skills from reputable sources or do not publicly proclaim a statement of ethics that is empathetic to the pet’s emotional needs.