Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Popular Dog Trainers on Television

One of the services I offer for clients is training sessions or behavior consults in their own home. It is convient for the client and I get to see with my own eyes the family dynamic that plays into some of the problems that the dog is having. It seems like every new client makes a comment about the "dog whisperer" and how Cesar Millan has shown how to deal with behavior problems. My standard answer has been to tell people to change the channel when Cesar comes one (especially if there are kids in the house!!). The scariest thing I ever witnessed at a private lesson was a 7 year old child poking his 60# lab/chow mix with his fingers saying "sst sst sst". I about fell over and thank goodness the dog didn't react in an aggressive way he just stood his ground and stared at the kid. I reccomend watching Victoria Stillwell in Its' Me or the Dog. I am not going to reinvent the wheel and write all of my opinions about why I wish Cesar Millan wasn't on TV. There is enough bad advice floating around as it is we don't need to make it too easy to access. Here is a link to a site that Helena Bailey put together that combines the opininions of veterinarians, veterinary behavorists, seasoned dog trainers, and people who have had bad experiences using outdated methods for training thier dogs. If nothing else, read the position statements and letters to National Geographic about the show "The Dog Whisperer".

Check out Victoria Stillwells page and watch her show on Animal Planet. I believe the library has her books as well.

Above all, use common sense when training your dog. If the training method is not going to build your relationship with your dog don't use it. If you percieve a taining method to be too harsh ask questions. Don't blindly follow what others are doing just because it looks like it will work with another dog with similar problems.

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