Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rescue Me! How Mothers are being Saved From Their Dogs

by a leash.

Thanks to, I have learned about an innovative new development on the traditional shock-collar. The SimpleLeash is a torture device training tool that magically shocks your dog when he pulls on the leash. According to the piss poor excellent promotional material provided by Dogster, one or two sessions over one or two days is enough to "cure" a dog from bad leash manners. It's also enough to take all the fun out of walking, for the dog, at least, and doesn't provide an alternative. I can hear the arguments now: but we want to be able to walk our dog! If we can't exercise our dog, he'll end up in the shelter. My argument: find a better way. Here's a snippet from a review of current literature about e collars:
Electronic training devices result in aversive conditioning, once the link is made between the behavior and the aversive stimuli (electric shock). Aversive stimuli, by definition, cause discomfort, pain, or an otherwise negative experience. It has been shown that while aversive conditioning can take place rapidly and can influence the suppression of unwanted behavior, this suppression is restricted to the presence of the conditioned stimulus after full conditioning has taken place (Seligman and Johnston, 1968). As well, while aversive conditioning may eliminate an unwanted behavior, it does not serve to establish an acceptable alternative. This is most
likely due to response blocking—the dog learns that not responding leads to the absence of the aversive stimuli, and stops responding (Seligman and Johnston, 1968).
But really, we haven't gotten to my favorite part, the part that made me get out of bed to write this blog post. According to a customer service rep from SimpleLeash who commented on the Dogster blog, "For many mothers and elderly who have had continual pulling problems and safety issues, they are really thankful for the simpleLEASH. We believe the leash can bring back harmony back to families where dog pulling is a problem." Those damn dogs, causing strife by pulling on their walks. This leash is a tool designed to save mothers everywhere, to rescue a damsel in distress. Women need rescuing, you know, from all sorts of dangers, including from their pulling dogs. And men aren't the only ones who can rescue mothers any more, now a leash can do it, too!

I'm not making this shit up. Watch this video where the poor lady with the kid in arms (mother) uses the Savior SimpleLeash to take an easy walk.

I'm going to go have a kid now. Just so I can be saved. By a shock collar/leash.

Forget agency here: mothers can't train their dogs without this tool. Obviously.


Luisa said...

Check out that poor dog's tucked tail and generally beat-down demeanor "five minutes later." Holy crap, way to prove you're a sucky excuse for a dog owner there, Mom. "Savior"...?! Honestly, Jesus wept.

ETA: Love the way the manufacturers go on Dogster to stress that this shock collar is a "last resort," when their promotional video screams "I've never done squat to teach my dog anything."

Anonymous said...

hey, can you use it as a kid-leash?

and if not, why not...

Running With Dogs said...

Not only does the tucked tail bother me, but so does the way the owner is holding the leash! She has so much of it pulled up that the poor dog can't even take one step to the side, or (doG forbid) lag behind for even a split second!

Sarah said...

Oh puke.

Tucked tail, beat down demeanor, mincing little half steps from a dog that's afriad to move. Because heaven forbid the dog should sniff or pee while on a walk.

What really gets me is all the before videos. For the most part the dogs aren't pulling that bad, and look like they would respond well to very basic rewards-based training. The owners have no leash handling skills and are making no effort to connect with their dogs.

Why on earth would you get a dog if you don't want to spend time interacting with a living, thinking, feeling creature? Why do some people think that the epitome of a well trained dog is a dog that does nothing requiring your attention, so you can pretend it's not even there?

I do have to say that it's a great addition to the Stay! Mat for the lazy, sadistic dog owner.

themacinator said...

i agree- the whole dog part of this is ridiculous, and a practically perfect argument against shock collars as a tool.

the stay!mat is even better- t and i were just agreeing- get the two of these together and you have a dog who is scared to walk and to chill on his bed. i'm not quite sure what fun it would be to be a dog, then, exactly.

but really, if moms and old people *need* this tool, what does that say about moms and old people? really? am i reading too much into this or is this misogyny in a new (to me) arena?

i can't walk my dog. i'll have to have a leash, or a mat, do it for me. because of childbearing, i've been rendered helpless, even to the family pet.

Sarah said...

Leave it to me to completely overlook a comment on people and focus on the dog stuff :)

I agree, L, it's a distasteful comment on mothers and the elderly and other non-masculine folk lacking manly upper body strength.

As much as I dislike most comparisons between kids and dogs, I have to say that in my experience mothers often make excellent dog handlers and trainers. They already understand stuff like how to convey authority without being violent, how to control the environment to promote good behavior, how to recognize and reward small successes, and how to be patient and work hard. Of course, many non-mothers, older people, and all kinds of other citizens also make excellent dog handlers!

Pye said...

That's messed up. I house sat for some friends not too long ago and was given instructions on using a bark collar if the dog got too loud. I didn't even consider using it, seems like a very cruel way to modify behavior. Fortunately I just gave the dog some attention and that seemed to keep it happy and quiet.