It was a breezy summer evening when approximately 12 dogs from various breeds were all assembled in a small group at a local city park in San Diego, California. At each dog’s side, its owner stood by, attentively listening to the dog training instructor whom was in the middle of the group.
“Today’s lesson will teach you how to give your dog the “Down” command.” He went on to say: “Now with your dog sitting by your side, and with a little bit of slack on the leash, loudly say the word ‘Down’ and then step on the leash hard so that your dog is forced to the ground and knows exactly what the down command means. This will show your dog that you are in charge and capable of making him go down whether he likes it or not.”
Like mindless listeners, the entire class obeyed the lesson and literally crammed the heads of their dogs down into the ground by stepping on the leash. By the time the entire training session had ended, it seemed like every “down” command ended in shrieks and moans from every dog. There was mass hysteria while the toy dog breeds fought off the leash and collar and the larger dogs just got confused, not understanding the forcefulness of the lesson.
Any dogs that rebelled against their owners and the leash in the attempt to force them down were asked why the instructor to stay behind for some “special handling”. This special handling only turned out to be a much more aggressive counter-lesson with a rolled up fist and an aggressive action towards the dog.
Is This Worth Saving A Few Dollars?
The above scenario happens all too often throughout the country. It seems that with a few months of reading and researching dog training manuals, almost anyone can become a dog training “expert” regardless if the training principles they are teaching or wrong or not. Such negative dog training only destroys the responsiveness, initiative, willingness, and motivation of any dog involved towards learning.
It just goes to show you that wherever there is money to be made in any type of field, especially dog training, you’ll always have your egomaniacs and fake “experts” rushing to fill the gap and make a quick buck.
“It may be a simple matter of economics”, as one pet store owner was saying. “Many dog owners come into the store and want to know how to properly train their pets. Although I sell dozens of instructional booklets, they want one-on-one teaching instructions. However, it’s quite expensive to hire a real professional so all they do is search around on the Internet or their local newspaper ads to find a cheap dog training class, which is usually run by someone that does not know what they are doing and for the most part uses aggressive tactics”
The point here is to let all of you dog owners know that it is much safer to work on your own training abilities by using qualified information instead of hiring the wrong person to do the job. And there are some organizations, such as “Petco”, is nationally recognized animal pet store, that hires professionals to teach obedience and training classes for your dogs each week.