As the bad novels say, I tried, God knows I tried. I tried to understand the dog trainers that label themselves as positive reinforcement, force free, cross over trainers and so on. I’ve read their blogs, tried to participate on the occasional Facebook page, been kicked off email lists though I’ve posted nothing but an intro without mentioning my training style, attempted to read their books and now I must tell the truth. These people are nuts.
I have had it with the lack of reading comprehension, intellectual dishonesty and taking quotes out of context. This is my catharsis.
I reached my frustration overflow point when these “keyboard trainers” pulled quotes out of the Koehler Method of Dog Training, specifically from the Problems chapter. Particularly without mentioning that the chapter starts with reminding the reader to spend the time to do the obedience program first. To pull random quotes without mentioning the proceeding 2-3 pages that go into detail on why one needs to be sure the dog is not nutritionally deprived before attempting a particular fix. To neglect mentioning that the drastic measures are for dogs that must mend their ways or die. Now, one of the big name authors that these people worship has said that she prefers to kill a dog rather than use what she considers harsh methods. If anyone doubts this, I have saved the email in which she said this.
It is bad enough when these women, and they are almost exclusively women, get together behind their keyboards and pass judgment on competitive obedience performances. A beautiful run by Denise Fenzi and one of her Tervs was picked apart for the dog not looking natural, for the heads up heeling style, for being “shut down” and I have honestly forgotten what else. Never mind that this was 199.5 run. But, wait, there’s more! The collective tune changed as soon as they found out that Denise Fenzi trains for AKC obedience using positive reinforcement almost exclusively. (She may use no corrections at all for it, but I don’t know for certain. I do know that she is an awesome trainer and that people I respect take lessons from her and that she accepts that others will use tools that she won’t use.) (More power to her.)
I threw up in my mouth a little when every and any picture of a dog wearing a collar that isn’t an “approved pozzie nazi training device” was dissected and found wanting. The dog is licking his lips, oh my! Yawning, I see yawning! Calming signals, the dogs are throwing out calming signals! And a group of dogs on down stays are the ultimate in shut down. They aren’t dogs doing down stays, they are exhibiting learned helplessness, oh my!
Now that that little bit of sarcasm is out of my system, I seriously question if these people have ever seen a true example of learned helplessness. I would suggest that they read the real scientific literature but these self righteous boobs wouldn’t recognize real science if it jumped up and bit them on their collective asses. Science based, whatever the frack that means, is not science. Real science doesn’t throw out half of the equation because it might be unpleasant. Real scientists admit when they goofed and revise their theories. They don’t let a shrill minority dictate their work and writing. (I love you Neil deGrasse Tyson.)