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By Published On: March 16th, 2012

Standard- an accepted or approved example of something against which others are judged or measured.

cartoon of surgeon with chain sawI was recently contacted by someone who was starting a rescue group for dogs with mild to moderate behavior challenges. I’m not sure how ‘mild to moderate’ was being quantified and nothing about the information they readily shared gave any indication that they did either. They may be skilled people who are capable of doing a fabulous job. They may be full of good intent but clueless about the needs of the dogs they are assuming responsibility for. There is also the possibility that they are a scam or worse, hoarders. I no longer feel all warm and fuzzy when someone tells me they do ‘rescue’.

It’s possible in the course of a day to hear or read about all kinds of bad advice freely shared by self-proclaimed ‘professionals’. This morning it was the recommendation to poke an aggressive dog in the neck, using a claw-like hand to redirect their attention toward the owner, instead of the person the dog was attending to. The sharer of this pearl went on to detail how it had worked on a dog they were training. It all sounded so easy and reasonable unless you thought about it, which seems to be rarely done. Touch an aroused dog and you take the very real risk of being redirected on in a big way. In many professions giving advice that causes someone to be injured would be considered gross negligence, not so with dog training.

Imagine joining an online group of professional therapists and reading suggestions and advice that are straight from an episode of television’s Dr. Phil. How about discussing medical options with a surgeon whose only education included online courses and ownership of the complete DVD set of Grey’s Anatomy. That anyone in either case would use the fact that they’ve lived with a mind or body for decades as evidence of ability would seem ludicrous. This continues to go on in the world of dog training today. Barbers are doing the blood letting.

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