Some of the brightest days in the life of a child come with the addition of a new puppy to the family. With this overwhelming joy, however, comes the difficult task of training the puppy to defecate and urinate outside the house, to keep valuable objects out of his mouth, and to avoid particular “off-limits” areas such as a living room. This last training objective will be the focus of my paper. It is beneficial for the happiness and work of the adults of the household to keep a rambunctious young puppy out of a freshly planted garden or a beautiful landscape. Likewise, it may be advantageous to ensure the puppy’s safety by preventing him from accessing areas riddled with dangerous plants such as cacti and bougainvillea, or reaching the road.
With the use of an electric shock collar and an underground wire, an uncomfortable shock is administered to the puppy whenever she crosses over the unmarked line. This has been done many times by many dog owners across the country. There are two questions that I would like to answer with the proposition of an experiment. First, can dogs be shaped to avoid a particular area with a shock collar, and will this avoidance continue even when the dog has the collar removed? The second question deals with other audible and visual influences that the dog may encounter over the course of the shaping. Will the dog respond better to a visual indication of the barrier, or an audible indication of the barrier? In other words, can the shaping or training be better achieved by visual or auditory indicators?
The experiment will include twenty dogs under the age of two years. My concern is with German Short-Haired Pointers, and so each subject will be of this breed. ...
... middle of paper ...
... in determining things, and so I believe the visual influence will have less of an effect on the dogs. My prediction is that the dogs would explore the sectioned off area by pushing away the mesh netting and moving in.
The results of this experiment would bring numerous practical applications for dog-owners everywhere. First, if it is determined that audible or visual shaping can occur independent of the location of a particular area, owners can save a great deal of money by buying less underground fencing and shaping the sound before adding the sound to other areas of the yard, without the burial of new electric fencing. Second, dog owners, who are typically sympathetic to their pets, would be happy to know that shaping is more or less permanent, and that the heavy, uncomfortable collar can be removed from the puppy once training has been sufficiently completed.
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