Micro Life Zone
Asked by chickenbob1 to DJ, Kyler, Mia, Mick, Peter on 29 Aug 2013.
Keywords: animal, communication, reward
There is never a reason to torture an animal even if you’re trying to communicate with it. Positive gestures and treats will help if training an animal but even that’s not necessary, depending on the situation. If you whistle to your dog it will listen, and if you yell at a nearby bird it’ll probably fly away – these are forms of communication.
Yes, I am neither torturing you nor giving you treats, but we are communicating – and we are animals.
And yes, you can do it with less intelligent animals; it is just harder.
@chickenbob1: Absolutely! One of the key things to positive interactions (communication doesn’t have to involve words) is giving the animal choice. The choice to approach you and the choice whether to interact with you or not. Research has shown that when we let the animal initiate contact in interactions, we’re more likely to have longer interactions than when we force ourselves on them.
In my everyday interactions with my two dogs at home, I don’t give them treats (outside of meals) and I certainly don’t torture them. They are extremely responsive to me, my words and gestures. We can initiate play, settle quietly or move together around the house or garden without treat or torture. It’s a beautiful thing to have a relationship with another animal that is based on choice, trust and respect.
I communicate with my cat regularly, and over time she has learned, for example when I want her to sit on me and when I want her to get off me. I think I even showed my hamster how to do a few tricks! So there are lots of ways to interact/communicate with animals. Sometimes negative reinforcement is easier for the people involved, but probably not for the animals!
Nice question @chickenbeb1,
I agree with everyone so far. Torturing animals (especially dogs) seems never to help at all. If anything, it will make your communication with them even harder. If you torture, they will listen less and possibly even get angry, scared and dangerous.
On my dogs I used a few treat when they were young to tell them that doing things with me was fun, then changed to toys that they really liked, now I need nothing at all.
thank you for all your answers and i appreciate them all
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