Dog training Oahu: choosing the right dog trainer

When seeking dog training Oahu, its helpful to view the evolution of dog training in general. Dog training has evolved in a similar manner as childhood education. In the 1870’s, it was common for a school teacher to hit children and at the time, hitting a child was an accepted part of childhood development. Very similarly, old style dog training has been taught through fear and pain. When looking at your options for dog training Oahu, do you want a dog trainer that is employing methods from the 1870’s or someone that is using contemporary techniques?  In Hawaii, the geographical isolation of our islands has permitted old style dog training methods to continue. Some Oahu dog trainers still employ older methods that rely on pain and punishment. There are some simple signs of whether your dog training instructor in Oahu is using an archaic method or a newer method for teaching a dog.  A contemporary dog trainer in Oahu uses positive experiences to guide the dog towards desired behavior. Positive reinforcement training is the modern method of training dogs and puppies. One way to determine if you have selected a good dog trainer for can be based on the dog trainer’s choice of tools, particularly the leash and collar. Here are some tips for how to select a good teacher for dog training.

When interviewing instructors for dog training Oahu, ask them if they use a choke chain collar.

If the dog does something undesirable, then the old method dog trainer yanks on the choke chain collar (via the attached leash) to punish the dog. I am very surprised to see that some dog trainers in Oahu are still employing this outdated method. This technique of constantly reprimanding a dog through choke chain correction, is akin to the 1870’s style of childhood education. This is the the old school house master hitting the students with the stick. An old criticism of dog training was that it kills the spirit of the dog. Well, if you are constantly and repeatedly employing a choke chain correction, then imagine what it does to the personality of your family pet? Choking a dog for every undesirable act? Do you see how that could negatively alter the personality of your dog? Then why do some instructors of dog training Oahu still use the choke chain? Because Hawaii is the most geographically isolated land mass in the world. There’s been a shortage in the exchange of ideas (at least in the field of dog training). Even if clients objected to old style dog training techniques, there weren’t many choices within 2,467 miles, so this allowed old style dog training to perpetuate in Hawaii.   The choke chain collar is an outdated training tool. I would not recommend any dog trainer in Oahu that still uses this device.

When interviewing teachers for dog training, ask the instructor if he uses an electronic shock collar.

The idea of using an electronic shock collar to train a dog is so outrageous that dog trainers who use this device call it a different name other than electronic shock collar. Sometimes its called a “remote.” And others will call it an “e collar.” When the dog does something undesirable, the owner zaps the dog with electric shock. Go back to the 1870’s school house style of teaching. Maybe the school house master didn’t have access to electric shock therapy, but if he did, then he would gladly shock students for spelling incorrectly. Beware of training your dog with a dog trainer that uses an electronic shock collar. The personality of the dog will be negatively affected after being shocked with electricity. If you use the electric shock collar for dog training Oahu, then you will essentially kill the spirit of your dog. Unfortunately, the use of the electric shock collar is used by some dog trainers in Oahu. So before you decide on who you are going use for dog training Oahu, ask the instructor if he uses the electronic shock collar.

A standard six foot leash is the standard tool in positive reinforcement dog training.

A dog trainer communicates with a dog through the standard leash. Not the gentle lead. Unnecessary leash devices include the “gentle lead” device which wraps around the dog’s snout and pulls on the dog whenever the dog pulls on the lead. The problem with the “gentle lead” is that it is not gentle. When it pulls on the dog’s snout, this produces a great deal of pain in an area that is highly sensitive to a dog.  Additionally, the “gentle lead” device doesn’t allow the dog to fully open their mouth. A dog regulates their body temperature by opening their mouth, so you don’t want anything impeding this action. The desired effect of a “gentle lead” device is to teach the dog to walk without pulling on the leash. If this pulling on the leash can be solved without the “gentle lead” device, then it would be a more humane form of dog training because the same effect can be produced  while letting the dog breathe more comfortably and with less pain to the dog’s snout area. It’s the skills of the dog trainer that produce good behavior in dogs, not the use of extra tools, like the gentle lead.

Use the standard six foot leash for dog training in Oahu

The standard six foot leash

dog training Oahu

The standard buckle collar. Not the choke chain. Not the collar with the plastic fastener clip.

 What is dog training?

Dog training is a low technology activity. The best tools for dog training are the simplest ones. Look for the  dog trainer that uses the standard buckle collar ( the martingale collar is also acceptable) that goes around the neck; and a standard leash that is six feet long. When you select a dog trainer that uses these simple tools, you will be learning from a teacher that emphasizes relationship building rather than communicating via pain and punishment. A dog trainer that uses the buckle collar and the six foot leash is more likely to encourage pet owners to use their emotions to communicate with their dog rather than relying on extraneous devices to send signals to their dog.  The goal in selecting a teacher for dog training Oahu, is choosing someone that will teach the pet owner how to communicate with their pet. If you want your dog to keep his award winning personality, then avoid the dog trainer in Oahu that advocates using the choke chain, the electronic shock collar, or the “gentle lead” device. These tools are instruments of pain. Every time the dog does something undesirable, the dog handler sends a pain signal to the dog. The evolution in dog training has been to minimize the use of pain as a communication tool and increase the usage of reward. The choke chain, the electronic shock collar, and the gentle lead are indicators of pain based dog training. The newer form of teaching dogs is referred to as reward based dog training.