Your Opinion Matters

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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mrgrtt123
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:45 am
Location: British Columbia

Your Opinion Matters

Post by mrgrtt123 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:22 am

I am not that sure whether this will be an appropriate topic or not but I am still hoping to know your thoughts about the use of bark collars.

My sister just sent me a ]bark collar[/url] that she found online as she is having a hard time eliminating the excessive barking behavior of her Jack Russell and she's thinking that this product might solve the problem. I don't know what to say to her or which type to get. Do you find it cruel to use this type of product to get rid of the barking issue? :shrug:
Last edited by SDC on Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Product link removed
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Coëmgenu
Posts: 1914
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:55 pm
Location: Whitby, Canada

Re: Your Opinion Matters

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:51 am

Animals don't necessarily learn the same way humans do. My parents used an invisible fence (a wire around the perimeter connected to a shock collar) to keep their dogs contained, but not all dogs can understand the causality of

I go near place ---> I get shocked. I shouldn't go near place.

Or even

I bark ---> I get shocked. I shouldn't bark.

We had a boxer-lab cross who loved to dig up my mother's flower beds. She would scold him something fierce. "Look at what you did," she would say. His teeth would chatter and he would refuse to look at the hole, evidently very able to feel the weight of consequence, but he never actually stopped digging up the flowers. The punishment, to him, I think was arbitrary and bizarre, and he couldn't put it together to just not dig in the flower bed.

On the matter of animals learning differently, I once heard an apocryphal (which I am reasonable sure is a true story, but am not sure) tale of Goodall raising her chimps. When they defecated in the house she would spank them and lightly toss them out the (ground floor) window.

Once she allegedly witnessed a chimp defecate on the floor, spank himself, and then jump out the window. Lessons learned?
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

binocular
Posts: 6780
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Your Opinion Matters

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:38 am

mrgrtt123 wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:22 am
My sister just sent me an extensive option of bark collar that she found online as she is having a hard time eliminating the excessive barking behavior of her Jack Russell and she's thinking that this product might solve the problem.
The barking is excessive according to whose standards? Hers? Or the dog's? I am sure it's not excessive according to the dog's standards.
She'd need to explain to the dog that she's the boss. Not that I suggest you cactually tell her that, because:
I don't know what to say to her or which type to get. Do you find it cruel to use this type of product to get rid of the barking issue?
I find that telling people, in any way, how to raise their animals or how to treat them is an extremely delicate topic.
Didactic topics like this challenge the person's sense of authority over their animal, and people generally resent that.

I think that dogs love to bark. Trying to get them not to bark is taking away something they love. If that loss is not going to be compensated for, the dog will continue to bark "excessively", or develop other problematic behaviors.

An animal is not a robot that would owe it to their human owner to behave the way the human wants.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

budo
Posts: 1752
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:16 am

Re: Your Opinion Matters

Post by budo » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:45 am

My opinion is that human beings should not own pets.

binocular
Posts: 6780
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: Your Opinion Matters

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:55 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:51 am
Animals don't necessarily learn the same way humans do. My parents used an invisible fence (a wire around the perimeter connected to a shock collar) to keep their dogs contained, but not all dogs can understand the causality of

I go near place ---> I get shocked. I shouldn't go near place.

Or even

I bark ---> I get shocked. I shouldn't bark.
Because this causality doesn't exist.

When animals love to do something, this will override human attempts to contain it. I think the animal doesn't actually believe that the human has authority over them, or over right and wrong, so for the animal the above causality doesn't exist.
We had a boxer-lab cross who loved to dig up my mother's flower beds. She would scold him something fierce. "Look at what you did," she would say. His teeth would chatter and he would refuse to look at the hole, evidently very able to feel the weight of consequence, but he never actually stopped digging up the flowers. The punishment, to him, I think was arbitrary and bizarre, and he couldn't put it together to just not dig in the flower bed.
Dogs love to dig (especially some breeds), it's in their nature. If a dog owner doesn't want their flower beds to get dug up, then
1. they shouldn't have flower beds while having a dog;
or
2. they shouldn't have a dog while having flower beds;
or
3. they should find a creative solution where they have a dog, provide it with ample opportunities to dig, and make the flower beds inaccessible to the dog or have some other way to arrange flowers.
Once she allegedly witnessed a chimp defecate on the floor, spank himself, and then jump out the window. Lessons learned?
No. Instead of working against the animal's nature and its likes and dislikes, one should work with its nature, with its likes and dislikes.

For example, some of the most frequent problems with cats are that the cat scratches upholstered furniture and jumps on the table and other high places. But it's in the cat's nature to love to scratch and to be in high places with a good overview.
We have cats. We have solved the problem of scratching furniture by providing the cats with scratching posts which they actually like and use; this took some trial and error and careful observation of what the cats actually do, like, and dislike, and adjusting the scratch posts. As for high places, we cleared the tops of some high closets and made some special high chairs for them. In short, we have provided for the cats things that are more interesting to them than furniture and the table. Thus, we have effectively changed the behavior of the cats.

I realize some people find such an approach demeaning, because it looks like the animal only gets rewards, but no punishments, and isn't expected to obey.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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