Training Techniques That Can Get You Bitten
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Pet owners want a well mannered pet.  They also want quick and effective pet training solutions.

Marketing material often promise the fastest, the most effective, the most immediate results. Who wouldn't want that?

While those promises might be appropriate for appliances at the local Mega Mart, family pets are not toasters.  Mistakes can be costly and not just financially.  What you don't know may get you or your children bitten.

One study from the University of Pennsylvania states that discipline - yes that's right - discipline was the second most common trigger leading to dog bites toward children.  It's a statistic that shocks most owners.  We are lead to believe that discipline is good.

It would depend on how you define discipline.  If one means reasonable rules and boundaries, then that is one thing.  But certain training techniques are less about structure and more about punishment.

Another University of Pennsylvania survey gives greater clarity.  It found that certain training methods can put people in harm's way.

What high risk training tactics should owners avoid?  According to the Pennsylvania University Survey the top five training tactics involving direct confrontation that will get you injured are:

Technique

Percentage of dogs that reacted aggressively

Hit or kick the dog

43%

Force the dog to release an item from its mouth

38%

Muzzle the dog

36%

Alpha Roll

31%

Dominance down

29%

Less confrontational methods may not be any better.  The survey also found the following methods involving indirect confrontation also could trigger a dog bite.

Technique

Percentage of dogs that reacted aggressively

Growl at the dog

41%

Stare the dog down

30%

Water/spray bottle

20%

Yell 'No'

15%

Forced exposure (Make it face something) 

12%

How did non-confrontational training compare?  Methods such as clicker training triggered a response in 0% of the dogs.

But is it effective?  The same survey also asked owners to rank how effective the various methods used had been.  Owners reported more positive outcomes with non-confrontational methods than with punishment based techniques.

If you want better - faster and safer results - look to positive training methods such as using food treats. It's a lower risk option with all the benefits.