... SEND NO MONEY NOW... (but, your credit card details would be nice)..You have probably seen the sites I am referring to here,
It's those super glossy sites that blather on for page after page, there are buzz-words, like 'rehabilitation' and 'natural' and there are promises that your problems will all be over if you just....
Well, just what? You don't know because the one thing THESE trainers and these sellers of magical whispery woo-woo WON'T do, is tell you what they actually do.
They will talk about energy, and they will waffle on about balance, some of them will discuss pack leadership and some of them won't.
But they will not tell you why a problem has occurred, and they will not tell you what they will do to resolve that problem, and they will not tell you why what they did has worked.
It isn't just dog training either, the horse world has its own fair share of these snake-oil peddlers.
I'll mention no names here, but there is a certain outfit that, should you question what they are doing, they will tell you that you have not reached a sufficient level within their own methodology, to ask those questions. Therefore they cannot answer them - because you are too stupid to understand.
Say what?You heard - you have to buy the dvd, buy the baseball cap, attend the expensive courses and seminars before you can ask questions. If you aren't drinking their Kool Aid, you cannot possibly understand a THING, even if you are a fee paying member of the audience at one of their demonstrations.
I don't see the problem though, if I don't like it I don't have to do it...That is a part of the problem - do you know what you are doing well enough to evaluate whether you like it?
If you do something, and you don't know why it works, how can you evaluate whether it is ok?
Hmmm...The big deal is, lots of this secret magical training, whether it is for horses or dogs, can APPEAR to work.
That barking bouncing maniac of a dog is quiet, the horse that used to barge through you now hangs back.. so the training worked?
Well, maybe - but maybe it just looks like it worked, maybe that behaviour is really suppressed through fear of you?
Some of the people I am talking about here, whilst they won't tell you this (and in some cases I actually doubt they KNOW this), because they will dress up what they do as being natural, humane, psychology... are really using positive punishment and negative reward to force an animal to comply to their will.
That barking maniac of a dog probably had too much energy, not enough walks and was never taught any boundaries or rules. The reason he is now quiet and calm is because he is depressed, confused and shut down, due to a harsh 'Nothing In Life Is Free' program, where he is repeatedly ignored, shunned, and made to work super hard for any interaction with his owner.
The barging horse who now hangs back is terrified to come within 5ft of his handler, because whenever he DOES, he finds the lead rope is jerked or thrashed around so the clip hits him in the chin, the 'natural' rope headcollar applies pressure to sensitive parts of his face, and his handler growls or shouts aggressively at him.
There may or may not be 'fall out' associated with these things - the horse may fear his handler hugely and be totally preoccupied with avoiding the punishment, he may be taken by surprise by something and spook and barge through someone ELSE because he wasn't aware of his surroundings, because he was so fearful of his handler. (Seen that happen!)
The dog might look so quiet and calm that his owners allow him near a small child, because they now think he is 'fixed' - but actually he is deeply anxious and fearful and when the small child falls over on him, he bites her in a panic (I have had a client with this happen!)
But they say these methods are natural and I just have to follow the simple steps...
These package deals, the dvds and books, if they don't teach you to figure out WHY a behaviour is occurring, what the animal is getting from the behaviour, and WHY the method they advise works, will NOT teach you to become an animal trainer or behaviourist.
Natural is a very trendy word - it means nothing. You are natural, I am natural, a piece of plastic is made from crude oil, coal, salt, natural gas and cellulose... thats natural too.
It is natural for dogs to piss up things and for horses to kick and buck and run away, it is natural for humans to hit things and shoot each other and rape and murder, because everything we do and everything we are IS natural.
Natural does NOT mean GOOD. It does not mean justified, acceptable, necessary, kind, or nice.
What frightens me most about packaged 'train your animal in 8 million easy steps' programs is that the very thing we ALL must do, to learn and progress... QUESTION things... is verboten. It is discouraged it is frowned upon, there is no room built into these glossy brand named methodologies for questioning, discussion or debate.
This leads to people training animals without thinking about the animal in front of them. They are thinking about what the DVD says, what the book says. It says do step 1, then step 2, then step 3. It does not say 'consider this animals life and background, ask what this animals motivation is for the behaviour he is performing that you do not like, ask how you can make what YOU would like this animal to do, the funnest, most rewarding choice available to him...
Are you not just jealous because they are on TV and make loads of money...Well, I'll be a liar if I say I couldn't care less about earning a bit more money, it'd be nice not to struggle at the end (or middle, or start!) of the month.
But no, genuinely, if someone has a skill at teaching other people, or at explaining how something works - cool, if people will pay for that knowledge and help, thats great. People pay me for it sometimes, and I have earned it.
What I object to, is this selling of secrets and pushing of magical packages that if you just buy enough DVDs.. you too can do xyz.. or solve abc problem ...
And of course, the concept that if you DIDN'T buy in already, then you CANNOT ask questions.
My clients, potential or actual, or even not potential, just random folk who come across this site, my website, my facebook page, are TOTALLY welcome to ask me any questions they like about my methods and why I use them and how they work.
There IS no secret in good animal behaviour and training - YOU can learn it too, go spend 10 years reading everything you can, observing, questioning other people, watching videos and tv clips and getting out there and hands on with as many animals as possible.
Keep up to date with science, and keep thinking outside the box, don't be afraid to talk to people who have been in the field 40 years or more, they were where you are, once.
So - if you find a website selling you something that is not clearly explained, if you come across lots of buzz-words but no real information, if you need to spend £100's or more, to reach enlightenment, if you have to wear the hat and drink the Kool Aid before your questions are answered...
You know, the emperor actually has no clothes, keep on looking for someone who will help you understand the reality, rather than sell you some whispery-woo-woo!