Beware of the trainer who has learned by watching TV trainers

March 29, 2011 by Karin
Filed under: Dog Training 

I was viewing some trainer’s websites and couldn’t believe what I saw. One trainer proudly states that he/she has learned their techniques by watching TV. Good grief! They don’t know that they don’t know.

Learning about dog training takes more effort than watching TV and emulating those techniques. Plus, TV shows are edited for the most effect.

Regardless of editing, what may appear to be effective may actually backfire and may make the situation worse. Many of the techiques that are shown are based on forcing a dog to comply. In other words, forcing the behaviour to happen. That’s the easy way. The not-so-easy way is to work on motivating the dog to comply and that means determining what that dog finds rewarding and then using those until the behaviour is conditioned. The trainer needs to use brain power instead of muscle power.

Dogs aren’t our enemies and maybe common sense should dictate how training should be handled.

Training techniques have changed in the past two decades and we’ve learned that we don’t need to use the aversive techniques as the first choice that were used prior to 1990.

The dichotomy between modern and traditional training continues. This isn’t about splitting hairs. The differences are major.

One final note. Not all TV trainers use aversive techniques. Use your judgement in determining which trainers use positive techniques and therefore help dogs learn. There is a huge difference.

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