There is (in my opinion), an unpleasant image emerging in respect of what constitutes (or ought to constitute) dog training and ownership. I was watching a few videos from a few US youtube trainers over the past couple of days, and it seems that the main message being put over, isn’t to exercise, permit freedom, bond, interact and create a harmonious relationship with a responsive dog, but rather that a restricted or restrained dog is the name of the game, or in more instances – Hire me.I saw a recall video – The dog was about 10′ away from the trainer, in a room, on a remote, and the trainer had food. To me, that isn’t a recall. The environment had been restricted to the point of ‘zero option but to’, and there was no relationship, no ‘gel’ between dog and trainer whatsoever.
I’m seeing nothing which denotes ‘skill’? There seems to be nothing different, beyond dog or camera angle in the abundance of clips. Life extends beyond a place board. Walking 2 dogs or 20, all on restraints of one sort or another – Well, frankly, “That don’t impress me much”.
There is life beyond a ‘facility’.
The dogs live beyond a ‘facility’.
Training MUST extend beyond facilities and tools.
Where is the ‘love’? Where is the ‘fun’ gone? Why is dog training and ownership being portrayed as some kind of regimental, seen but not heard mentality?
Sometimes, I cannot help but draw the analogy of a prison when I look at these facilities. Freedom is only permitted, when permitted. Choice is channelled and/or pressured and a great deal of time is spent on a place board ‘lock down’.
Rarely, VERY rarely will you see these 20 lead walked dogs running freely together, permitted to experience and exhibit their natural, species specific tendencies, whilst still under the control of the trainer. The excuse will be that they are ‘aggressive dogs’, ‘red zone’ dogs or anxious dogs, and so the ‘harmony of the pack’ would be adversely affected. In response to which, I would ask “Then what is the point in the programme?”
It isn’t my idea of training.