Lies, damn lies, and dog training

I’m completely, totally and utterly overwhelmed.

They’re everywhere.

Dog training lies.

“You have to be top dog”.

“Don’t let your dog on the couch / bed.”

“Go through the door first.”

“Don’t smile when you talk to your dog.”

“Roll your dog over and growl at it when it doesn’t listen.”

“Leaders eat first.” (Simon Sinek, author of the amazing ‘Leaders Eat Last‘, would have something to say about that one!)

Oh, and my personal all-time favourite: “Pee on your dog.” Yep, ACTUALLY urinate onto your dog. Way to get bitten in the exact wrong spot, Dad…

What. On. Earth.

What on earth is going on?

How on earth do people believe this stuff?

Why? WHY???

You couldn’t sit in a room and make this stuff up. And yet, someone apparently did. Sit in a room and MAKE THIS STUFF UP.

Because there is no factual basis for any of it. None. Nada. It makes NO sense at all.

Oh sure, they’ve created a *persuasive* argument for why you have to do it. “Dogs are a different species. I (and only I) have the mystical power that enables me to magically get your dog to behave in 10 minutes flat. Oh, and buy this special, patented, rattle bottle / *E* collar (no, it’s not like E mail. Should be called EVIL-collar actually) / pillow (for throwing at the dog when it barks, obviously!) and all your problems will be sorted.”

I probably shouldn’t say this. Dog training is simple. Not easy, simple.

Be committed (do the work).

Be consistent (avoid confusion).

Be creative (find a way to make it work).

That’s it.

Dogs are social animals. They evolved living around, and then with, humans. They want to fit in, to maintain the status quo. They WANT to be part of your family. You just need to gently explain to them how that’s going to go. They can’t follow the rules if they don’t know what they are. So you might want to find an awesome trainer who understands how dogs learn and how to motivate them (great experience does help). This will make everyone’s life easier.

And finally, if your dog trainer starts talking about pack leadership, dominance, or “pecking order”, apart from what total rubbish it is, just pick up your dog and LEAVE!  You don’t even owe them your time, let alone your dog’s wellbeing. Go find someone who can tell the difference between a dog and a chicken…   


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  1. Pingback: But I don’t have 10,000 hours! | The Dog Nanny

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