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By Published On: August 5th, 2022

It’s Unregulated

There is no one over arching organization that sets specific standards for trainers. Anyone, absolutely anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. There are no gatekeepers whose job it is to protect consumers from hacks or hucksters. This also means that should a trainer do anything that injures your dog or makes their behaviors worse, there is less chance for there to be any consequence for their behavior. It’s not as though they can have their license revoked.

Anyone Can Publish A Book

Today’s technology makes it easy to self-publish. Used to be a writer had to find a publisher and sell them on their idea. It didn’t guarantee that only good books, or correct information would end up in print, but it did slow a lot of rubbish down. The alternative was to use a vanity publisher that would, for a hefty fee, print up copies of a book. It often required a substantial investment, and again, didn’t stop the production of a book, but it too slowed down the process, and limited the number of books available. Today it’s simple to get a book into print, I know, I’ve done it. 

It’s Based On A Science

Learning and behavior are based on a natural science that has studied and researched operant and classical conditioning. Both are ways that animals learn. What research does is determine whether what we think is going on is, is actually going on, and what the cause of it actually is. If dog trainers and owners understood this, and respected the idea of science, TV celebrity dog trainers would never become megastars or millionaires. The suggestion that dogs growl at owners to assert their role as pack leaders would have been accompanied by a laugh track. If you still believe in the pack leader talk, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s been refuted and debunked by scientists and trainers far smarter and more articulate than me. 

The Use Of Corrections Can Be Dangerous

Most trainers won’t tell you this. We don’t have to, remember we’re unregulated. As bad as withholding this information may seem, it’s worse than that, most trainers don’t know it. That should concern you as much as a cardiologist who doesn’t know the difference between a vein and an artery. The slippery slope of it works catches many unprepared to stop the slide. Owners are not informed that the gateway drug of using some type of invisible (i.e., electricity) barrier to control their dog’s movement, can lead to the incorrect assumption that it’s not without risks. This can lead to the use of electronic collars in any context. Yesterday someone told me, with a chuckle, that their daughter’s young Labrador retriever was being shocked for picking up and destroying pillows. Ha. Ha. Sorry, not funny, it’s tragic. The tragedy might not be realized for months or years when suddenly a used-to-be good dog starts biting.

Before you resort to using anything that hurts, scares or startles your dog, find a trainer who won’t.

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