Dog whisperer: Bruce McNabb trains dogs and their owners

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    Drill sergeant dog whisperer and Fishers business owner Bruce McNabb, with dog Spartacus and owner Savannah Neary, Carmel, with some puppy class members. (Submitted photo)
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    Westfield pup Penny looks up hopefully for a reward from handler Chuck Pulfer. (Submitted photo)
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    Patty Lewis, Anderson, with her dog Max (6). This is the third dog Patty has brought to McNabb. (Photo by Feel Good Now)
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    Bruce McNabb instructs owners in dog obedience training during one of his group training sessions at First Friends K9 Training. Bruce keeps a squirt bottle of water handy in case any dogs misbehave. (Photo by Feel Good Now)

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  • Positive Dog Trainer

    I am absolutely SHOCKED and disgusted to see Current in Fishers featuring this “training” facility in their publication. Bruce and his “trainers” do not train dogs in a positive manner. Notice that ALL the dogs, no matter what size of dog, are wearing prong/pinch collars in the photos. That is an unnecessary tool for dogs, especially for small dogs and puppies! If you are not familiar with prong/pinch collars, please do some research. Also note that Bruce is holding a squirt bottle in one of the pictures. He squirts dogs in the face when they do not do something right. The training methods Bruce uses are completely aversive and fear-based. Training a dog via fear is one of the worst ways to train a dog. For dogs who already have behavioral issues or are just puppies, aversive training methods instill fear into those dogs, causing undetermined amounts of stress. Does this kind of training get results? Sure it does, but does risking your relationship with your dog and causing other unwarranted stress worth the harsh training that First Friends uses? No, it doesn’t. Aversive training does give you quick results because the dog is scared. The dog will do what you want it to do out of fear. Eventually, this type of “training” will backfire, resulting in a dog that cannot handle his environment or on the opposite end…end up as an aggressive dog.

    We owe it to our dogs to communicate clearly to them WHAT we would like them to do, instead of automatically punishing undesired behaviors. In operant conditioning, it is a given that a behavior that is reinforced is a behavior that will be repeated. If your dog is reinforced for a loose leash, they understand that. That is how to train a dog! Dogs don`t understand pain, only that something hurt them, and they quit offering any behaviors because they are afraid to. This is not much of a life for a dog. We train our dogs to be good dogs in our homes and out in public, and we do that because we care about our dogs. If someone truly cared about their dog, why would they train their dog using fear and pain?

    Please go and visit a couple of the classes at First Friends. Watch how the dogs and their humans get yelled at. Watch how the dogs, especially the small dogs and puppies, get jerked around by the prong collars. I have seen dogs lifted off the floor by the prong collar (imagine how scary and painful that is for the dog), dangling there while they defecate on the floor. I have seen dogs pushed to the floor and pinned down. This is not dog training.