Monday, 5 March 2012

Opposite ends of the spectrum

I’ve had two ends of the spectrum this week. That of people who are adamant that dominance training is the only way and owners so in tune with their canine companions it can bring you to tears. I know the owners I like to spend time with. Old school trainers always seem to want a battle with you. In fact this is the basis for their method of training as it puts you in direct conflict with your dog. Surely nobody wants a constant battle. How tiring must that be and how confusing for their dogs? After months researching for my book ‘The Truth about Wolves & Dogs’ I have come to the conclusion that there are two personality types who own dogs. Fixed, inflexible people who don’t want to move with the times and like to control and open minded, forward thinking types who work with their dogs not against them. This may seem harsh and yes there is a third type, the people who just haven’t found reward based training yet. 23 years ago at the start of my long career working with dogs I worked for Guide Dogs for the Blind. At the time we were taught about pack hierarchy, not letting dogs win, who should start a game etc. It wasn’t until I started training as a Tellington TTouch Practitioner in the late 90’s and later when I worked with wolves, that I began to question the old beliefs. The journey I have taken over the last two decades has been an incredible one and I hope the book which is out in July helps others reach the same conclusion as me. That is, you don’t have to battle with your dogs on a daily basis. Teach good manners and give them boundaries. Most of all allow them to express themselves and be your companion. These are living creatures with emotions and it is about time we started to realise that in the dog training world.

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