Looking for a trainer? You are COMPLETELY UNPROTECTED.

This ugly video prompted a conversation on our Facebook page.  It shows a “trainer” in a clean, professional setting, abusing a dog.  The dog – which probably belongs to a paying client – is supposed to be learning various obedience commands, but the poor dog has no idea what is expected of it.  Thus, he gets punished – a lot.  This isn’t an isolated incident – that’s that trainer’s method of “training.”  Unfortunately, there’s lots of this in the Reno/Sparks area.

The dog training industry is COMPLETELY UNREGULATED.  This means that anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves a dog trainer.  Worse, all kinds of actions – hitting, kicking, shocking, choking, hanging, pinching – an animal becomes acceptable in the eyes of the law, and often the general public, if it is done under the guise of training.   This is despite the fact that decades of canine cognitive research tell us that not only are there more ethical ways to do things, but that punitive training methods like choking, pinching and shocking an animal are much more likely to cause additional behavior problems, such as aggression and fear, than non-punitive methods.

We all think this video is the type of thing that will happen to someone else, but the thing is, we’re ALL someone else to someone else. Please, PLEASE don’t ever hand your pets over to anyone, not even an “expert,” until you’re sure you trust them. If you’re not sure, be there to watch. If they won’t let you watch (for ANY reason), run away!! Find someone who will let you watch. Anything they do to your animal, they should be able to do in front of you.  And it should be done kindly, gently, and with respect for the animals’ emotional state.  Sometimes pets need difficult veterinary procedures; that’s just life.  But, any belittling or mockery of an animal’s suffering is your cue to RUN.

Share it!  Knowledge is power, and we might be able to save some dogs from abuse, and owners from heartache.



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