Dog training should not be a reality TV show. Seeing results for behavior problems, in an hour, is misleading. Even mild behavior issues usually cannot be resolved in one hour. How does one create a solid foundation for behavior in one hour?
Our dogs are important to us, they are members of our family and we LOVE them. There is also cost associated with raising a dog including food, vet bills, supplements, meds and TRAINING. Training should be considered as important as the vet. Most dogs are sheltered or worse because of behavior issues that proper training could have avoided, or that proper training can overcome. Training is a life saving investment for your dog and helps enhance that human-dog relationship and bond.
Dog training on TV does not teach how to break behavior down into small steps. Dogs are a different species with different customs and a different language. We need to consider that training our dog is synonymous with teaching them a new language as well as learning a new language ourselves. Could you learn to speak and understand martian fluently in an hour?
Whether you watch CM with his collar pops, poking, trapping, flooding et al or you watch VS with her positive approach to problem solving, or you watch GDU with his combination of collar pops and food you are not getting the full benefit of HOW DOGS LEARN. You are not getting the benefit of how to apply training techniques to your special dog, special breed and special goals.
I recommend to my clients, who watch dog training on TV to watch it on mute. Observe the dog in the lesson. What is the dog thinking? Is the dog enjoying the lesson? Is the human enjoying the lesson? Observe the dog’s body postures, often the dog’s signals are so obvious that you do not need to be a professional trainer to see if the dog is enjoying, understanding, and wanting to partake in the lesson at hand. Is he avoiding or smiling? Is he leaning in toward the handler or away from the handler. Is he interested in the handler, is he trying to bite the handler. Observe the dog in the lesson and try and determine what that dog is thinking about the lesson. Remember that dogs need information and need to be taught what TO do in a situation. Is the trainer teaching the dog what TO do rather than bringing focus to what not to do?
As you watch dog training reality shows, remember that they are out there for the entertainment factor, the wow factor and TV station ratings and NOT for valuable and professional, or even useful at times advice.
Always seek advice from a professional and certified trainer who focuses on positive solutions and on training that builds relationships and who stays current with scientific research and data. Your dog will thank you!!