In 2002 years ago a bubbly young girl flashed onto out TV screens - literally - and immediately hit the headlines for quotes such as
"Where's East Angular though? I thought that was abroad." and "Rio de Janeiro, ain't that a person?"
She was laughed at, ridiculed, and publicly bashed these quotes and more.
I remember at the time thinking to myself that if you've never been told something then how are just expected to just know it? And that's stuck with me.
I've been working and studying in the dog training industry for over 10 years now. Over this time there's been a massive shift in the science behind dog training, leading to a vast number of dog trainers who use force free science based methods to implement their training.
While this new wave of positive reinforcement based force free trainers use patience, understanding and gentle approaches with the animals, unfortunately this isnt always how they deal with two legged clients.
Dog owners who use electric shock collars on their dogs, slap them and act using outdated 'pack leader' methods can often be treated with distain, ridicule and strongly worded criticism by some modern day trainers. The thought is that these owners gain pleasure from hurting their animals, are sadistic, and enjoy acts of cruelty.
This is a campaign I am staying well away from! I freely admit that as a child we used a choke collar on our rare breed of Wire Haired Border Collie (insert Mongrel here!). It's something that I look back on with regret, but we had never been educated on the negative side of using punishment as a force of training, and we simply didn't know better!
Modern day dog trainers need to step back and begin using empathy and understanding as part of their box of tricks. Guilt tripping and chastising a 'Jade Goody' dog owner is not going to fill them with warm fuzzy feelings, but is more likely going to send them running away from positive reinforcement trainers straight into the arms of those who are still working in the dark ages, treating our dogs like wolves!
I make it my aim to educate every pair of listening ears to the ways of force free trainers, and I certainly won't ridicule or publicly bash those who haven't been informed of the best ways to work with their dogs.
At the end of the day, we were all Jade Goody dog owners before we opened our books!
Lots to share !