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Holding the Line Against Apparent Authority & Checking Credentials

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by RobD-BCactive, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

    Jul 1, 2010
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    Many Dog professionals have studied, are in the profession because they cared about dogs and wanted to work with dogs, whilst helping pet owners have better relationships with their dogs. They are balanced, calm & temperate individuals, who accept the inevitable frustrations of dog training and the dealing with the not always easy members of the public.

    These ppl deserve respect and I am grateful to those who have helped me, with advice often given freely over my lifetime. This thread is not a pop against, such.

    But... there is not a well regulated market, and furthermore the programmes put forward may be geared to the predilictions & prejidices of clients; rather than be carefully scientifically evaluated techniques for both effectiveness and humane treatment.

    That's something I can certainly agree with, if you must find the original case use search engine, I don't want to personalise the discussion by attacking an individual.

    Also a very respected behaviourist & trainer, advised me privately to decide what boundaries I'd not accept being crossed, before attending WSD training, which I think is good advice.

    Yet others, want a blind mindset of putting trust in a label like "Dog Professional", without regard to the actual situation & purposes, of a family pet. I'm sure most ppl who've read the forum this years, can think of examples, where OP's reasonable sloppy "good enough" requirements for a pet were ignored in favour of fanatic advocacy of a rigid school of thought with argument that it was correct for that type of dog, or a very black & white standard of performance ie nit picking like it was a formal obedience competition.

    So I am saying.. I have had to say, No! To people running classes and furthermore that, where I against my instincts chose not to intervene, the outcomes were poor and needed remedying. Furthermore learning was actually quicker and the result a more eager dog, by using the MOST humane methods! The fact is if you understand your dog and someone cannot explain something rationally, but rely on subjective claims & try to pressure you, likely they are wrong!

    If you go along with it, you'll likely regret it and it will cost you time to sort.

    IMO anyone who attends class or consults, has right to buy time to consider and research any technique they are dubious about, and retreat from pressure situations. If over hard sell is employed, in my view You have a right to say, "No, thank you that's not right for my dog!" and use that right!

    It is also reasonable to check credentials and observe things, before comitting yourself, or walking out the door!

    Pawsitive's posted about a class which was very much such already.

    My personal experience on this follows.

    Observing class on a KC accredited course, which was very sound source material, that the personal qualities of assistant trainers matter, particularly patience. Impatience caused poisoning of the cue "Sit!", so instead of proofing in class, my pup actually became more & more unwilling to "Sit!" in situations he'd previously been happy to. Furthermore the individual concerned (whom we all did not like), later lost her temper with a dog; I told the lead trainer of course "if anyone acts like that to my dog, then I'll be straight off out the door!"

    Again when undertaking dog sports with risk factors like Agility, I've witnessed counter-productive over-threshold "work" by a well meaning person, not associated with the course but the facilities, who's position as assistant Dog Trainer gave them the credibility with a lady atendee to do something likely counter-productive with her dog. This has proved to be the case. Personally I had to say "No!" to siren voice suggesting intimidating my dog and "Oh you want to just use postive, well Ok if you have the patience for that"; by withdrawing and then working 1:1 with my dog on his problem obstacles I made very visible progress, very rapidly, which persisted the next week eg) dog walk - which had been feared for 5 weeks, my dog now was volunteering and enjoying it. So actually, working on my own in highly positive way for 20 minutes, did more than 5 hours of following the planned programime in a group.

    All too often on this forum, OP's post about things they knew were wrong and did not like, but allowed at the time and later regretted, because they were in position of having to trust someone who was "a proffessional Dog Trainer".

    Many of us have also noted, self proclaimed Professional Dog Trainers, who seem to not understand well mainstream KC approved methods, those recommended by Parliament comittee after consideration and lobbying by interested organisations (some with a very solid track record for Dog Training eg) Guidedogs for the Blind).

    Thanks for reading, I hope you understand that this is intended to be permissive, to those who're less sure and tend to follow, rather than be stubborn and assertive when required. I'm sure some on forum will dislike this view intensely, or regard it as a "barb" aimed at them; they are wrong.

    This has been brewing for quite a long time...
    #1 RobD-BCactive, Jun 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
  2. Irish Setter Gal

    Irish Setter Gal PetForums Senior

    Mar 17, 2011
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    As I typed this reply to another thread it was closed - this thread seems to fill the chat gap.:001_smile:

    [This thread] just seems to sum up what is wrong with the overall 'recognition' process. There are far too many 'recognised' bodies for people to be able to take a judgement on what's best. I really don't like it when a 'recognised' body requires membership to be based on having completed their own courses and fails to recognise other 'recognised' bodies courses too.

    Where all recognised bodies fall down IMHO is the process of quality and assurance of practical skills.
    Example: There are different training schools that can train you to be an Air Traffic Controller and provide you with a qualification. That qualification is then used to obtain further practical training leading to a licence to practice. This licence to practise is assessed on a dedicated practical level annually, and monitored monthly with feedback on performance forming the basis for a spot check. The external examining body which approved the course from where you obtained your qualification is also the approval body for the assessor scheme. Rigid and tough, but it is an extreme example of a disciplined approach to training a particular skill.

    Now if this were translated to dog behaviourists being required to obtain a licence to practise then would that not be a better way to proceed. Retention of that licence would be based on continued practical assessment by an external governing body, not the body that gave you the qualification in the first place, and it could thus be a body that complaints could be made to and those not meeting the required standard be 'struck off the registry' like Doctors are when they fail to meet the practical requirements to retain their licence.

    Yes I know both skill sets mentioned above involve human lives, and humans are considered the most valuable life form on the planet, but surely with the general increase in the popularity of turning to dog trainers to resolve an increasing level of 'bad' dog behaviour it couldn't be beyond the wit of man to set something milder up to reflect this growing market in the dog world. It strikes me that there are a lot of similarities in this argument to that the osteopaths went through a while back, this resolved itself in the UK with two recognised bodies being set up to provide accreditation to qualified practitioners.

    Rant over, and yes before anyone asks I think they should bring back a licence to own a dog and grade it according to type of dog like driving lorries - pass a harder test to own a pit bull than you would to own a poodle :glare:
  3. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

    Jul 1, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Moved response back to re-opened "UK behaviourist" thread as it seems more relevant there.

    The "blue chevron" button takes you to the "UK Behaviourist discussion".

    My OP in this thread was client focus, being able to say "No!" to assertive & pushy "Professional Dog Trainers", who unfortunately attempt to push class members out of the zone they are comfortable with.
    #3 RobD-BCactive, Jun 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2011
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