Truth or Tails.
As a new reader and writer to the Web I was astounded by the amount of information at our fingertips. Astounded is putting it mildly, I was overwhelmed. Reading is a favorite pastime for me, something I've indulged in since childhood. My taste in books evolved as my interests changed. As a young adult Libraries became fascinating, books filled with facts and ideas to share. I learnt to read critically, understanding that information charged by emotion would lead to bias. Bias often makes a read much better, but I wonder how many people realize they are influenced.
Writing about dogs is a good exercise for me because I work with animals. I've worked in the Pet Industry for the past fourteen years allowing me to gain experience. During the early part of my career I studied and received six separate certifications. I hold a Group Class facilitator Certificate and a separate Obedience Trainers Ticket; I can train dogs independently or in a class. I have two Kennel attendant Tickets, a Groomer's Aide Ticket and a Canine First Aid Ticket. These tickets give me an advantage when working or writing. In this line of work I need to converse in a confident manner. When writing, I am able to pause, then formulate the best way to convey information. When speaking, face to face, the words must flow. Hesitation seems award and transmits uncertainty, not the image I wish to portray to a customer. The more I write the smoother I speak.
During my apprenticeship I was taught by an instructor who is highly respected in the Canine Community. Jane has forty years experience that is highly regarded and sought after. She taught me everything, the science behind training methods, how dogs communicate with each other. How to distinguish a dog's body language to determine what type of temperament the dog has. How these different temperaments effect the different training methods. I studied anatomy, nutrition, parasites, breed types, instinctual drives, mating, whelping and the list goes on. The average person walking down the street has no idea how much information a good Dog Trainer should know. The catch; information is great but it won't help you teach a dog unless you get practical experience.
Trainers sometimes approach things differently. Sometimes we need more information to know whats going on. An example, if you treated a case of submissive wetting like it was poor training, you will probably make the problem worse. Submissive wetting is usually due to an animal getting overly excited to see a person. These dogs timid by nature. Scolding them will only frighten and confuse them. The best thing you can do is have everyone start to ignore the dog when you first get home so no one inadvertently adds to the dogs excitement. Wait for three or four minuets before touching the dog. Do some obedience training with the pet to give it confidence. Stop babying the dog, it is not good for the animal. This is good information, but if possible the trainer should always see the dog for an assessment.
As training animals evolved so did dog training. In the old days trainers were heavy-handed using a variety of outdated practises. Years ago the dog on the farm that chased chickens would be punished by having a dead chicken tied around his neck until the thing rotted away. Disgusting, isn't it. Putting a dog's nose in its pee is also a thing of the past. Today we understand that dogs need an Alpha but, many trainers will not pin a dog, believing it heavy-handed. To pin a dog is to take it by the neck and force him to lay on his side, or back. Times have changed directly as a result of training Dolphins. After observing that a Dolphin is taught using a whistle and without touching it , Dog Trainers developed a way to do the same. This is how Clicker Training began.
This brings me to my present investigation. After a quick look at Dog content on Infobarrel I realized that the people writing are obviously dog lovers. I also see that a lot of good advice passed along but, some of the advise is misguided. Most people learn about pets by watching our families. Some people have well-behaved dogs, but most do not. As a trainer I expect a lot from a dog because I know what they are capable of . Sadly, as a whole society does not treat dogs up to par. Only 60% of dog owners walk their dog. That is absolutely disgraceful as dogs need to be walked. So I suggest this when you read blogs. Read from a skeptical point of view. Anyone who is writing about favorite breeds needs to understand that the Kennel Club's list changes every year. The same goes for intelligence in dogs, the list changes according to who wrote it. Realize that most information can be challenged depending on your bias