B for Buzz and B for Bull...

Do ends justify the means, or are some things just wrong? This is a question that reflects two "lines" of ethical thinking -- and dog training.

Consequentialism is focused on the outcome -- how we get there is less important than achieving a favorable "end." 

Virtue Ethics is concerned about "means" -- the process by which we achieve outcome. In this way of thinking, implementing the virtuous character matters more than anything.

Training dogs with virtue means the process matters most, and training dogs with a Consequentialist attitude means the outcome matters most.

Since people do not typically want to say, " yep -- I used pain and fear to get that fancy ribbon" they tend to use some clever mental footwork to manage the cognitive dissonance.

Because it is absurd to say "I love my dog! I hurt my dog!" we create a comfortable illusion and thereby manage the cognitive dissonance.

"I love my dog! I hurt my dog!" "I love my dog! My dog likes being hurt!"  "I love my dog! It is just a wee buzz!"

No matter what cutesy word one uses, electronic/shock collars utilize an experience a dog would prefer to avoid. DUH -- that is the point. 

And for what reason? To achieve a desired outcome. Ends justify means.

Just own it: "I use pain and fear of pain to cause my dog to do something."

And let me own this because this is MY space: That makes you a Bully with a capital B.

It is not nice to be a Bully -- FYI. 

And an additional FYI -- success can be achieved without pain or fear of pain. 

GCH Kaibab'z Forever Bright UD TDX AXP AJP OA OAJ RN DD BDD.

And more important than her show successes, when Zoey leaves the earth I will know that I always did my best to treat her in virtuous ways. That is real success in my book blog.

Is being a good person not quite enough reason to avoid hurting your dog? Read more HERE.

1 comment

by Mari on Wed, 11/22/2017 - 12:16

Thank you for this, and for sharing that link, too!

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