One of the most frustrating things about being in the animal profession is the lack of consistency in methodology. People still use archaic methods to train their animals because pop culture still demands and perpetuates the old techniques. Here is one article (long) that explores the issue of dog training after the arrest of a “dog whisperer.”
Titles don’t mean much…but some groups are actually attempting to bring accountability to the field. This is a really new effort…when I started in my career there were no degrees in the field and many people still make up their titles.
In my neck of the woods a local trainer says she is “certified” but uses questionable techniques. She also sold her business, signed a non-compete clause, and then opened another business in the same town. Yikes!
I got further confirmation on the poor practices when a recent client’s dog took longer than normal to warm up to me. When I did some sleuthing I found that the dog ran and hid from the last trainer AND actually quivered with fear.
It broke my heart to hear about what the “trainer” did with the sensitive dog. I’ll spare you the horrible stories. Once we began the rehabilitation, the owner was shocked at the progress and at how excited the dogs (it was a multiple dog household) all got about “school.”
In stark contrast to the arrival of the other “trainer” they were thrilled to see me and enjoyed learning. My point here? Your pets should love their teachers and respect not fear them.
The bottom line: Animals need to be taught how to make good choices and not simply to react…learning should be a positive experience…don’t fall for the bells and whistles or fancy names.