Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I was originally going to post a video that is making the rounds of a certain TV trainer (umm dog psychologist) that shows him kicking dogs repeatedly. Oh wait, he calls it "tapping" them to get their attention. Um if I "tap" you with an open hand to the face does renaming what I really did make it OK? The video has since been pulled from YouTube for copyright infringement. Can we say legal team in action? (edited 3/16/11 It has been reposted to YouTube. Try this link while it still works to see the video refered to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eIqouuh3nY )
Why are people still listening to this man for training advise? Well I can tell you why, they have a problem dog, see his stuff working quickly and so they decide it must be a valid training method. The problem is that his methods are short lived and rely on the owner being able to suppress the behavior. It doesn't change the emotion of the event for the dog. In some cases it makes the emotion worse because punishment is used so often. (and many times unfairly!)
Suppression only works if you can then manage the dog 100% of the time. But because he has a flashy TV show, and they don't know where else to look for help, he gets people to follow him. They don't know any better remember. Then when video of him comes out showing him being abusive to dogs they run to his defense. "Oh you need to be dominate with those kinds of dogs." "Oh it was just a tap, he wasn't using much force." Yeah ok, that's why the dog tried to bite him afterwards. One of the worst clips was when he kicked a dog to GET A REACTION so he could see what the dog would do. We call that setting a dog up to fail in my book. P.S. a dog is a dog first and a breed second. No breed needs more heavy handling than another.
Say whatever you want about "cookie pushing" positive method training. At the very worst if someone does it incorrectly the dog doesn't get trained. But neither is anyone causing pain to a dog in the process. Haven't we evolved beyond the need to cause dogs pain in training? Apparently not.
If the following photo doesn't horrify you please don't become a dog trainer. Or a dog owner for that matter.
Read this post for a mind boggling explanation: http://fearfuldogs.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/oxygen-as-a-training-tool/
CM also touts his methods as natural. Because he has watched dogs and how they interact remember. This is where he learned the "calm submissive state" nonsense. Hmmm funny that I've never seen dogs "tap" each other. Or choke each other. Or push each other out of a truck. (The akita episode.) Which part of that was calm submissive behavior BTW? One would think a dog psychologist would know more about actual dog behavior. But hey I've only been doing this for 10 years. What could I know?
Of course when you are famous and making money hand over fist (TV show, DVD sales, public appearances, books, magazines, etc.) you probably aren't motivated to learn a better way. He is already getting all the reinforcement he needs! To bad it's the dogs paying for it with their pain.
"Dog training should not be a battle of wills, but an ever-evolving dance of communication and cooperation." ~ Nicole Wilde ~


kblover said...

Wow, that picture is horrifying. I can't imagine anyone being able to do that to a dog, not matter what it did wrong.

And I love that Nicole Wilde quote. I'm going to have to steal it for a forum signature!

DTL said...

Why is he even called a trainer at all? I mean, training is about making a dog what you want him to do, like teaching a child tools of the trade or tricks he could use in life.

But this "tapping"? I can't bear to see that(good that the video was removed so I didn't quite get to see it).

My face saddened as I caught a glimpse of that picture. :'(