Last week, we shared a long list of red flags in advertisements for dog training services that should warn potential clients to be wary. This week, we’ll be covering online dog training company claims and offers.
Why worry about offending others in your chosen profession when you can demean your competition with empty promises and fancy titles that you have given yourself!
“We are canine behaviorists, not just dog trainers, and therefore can solve any root problem your dog encounters for permanent results.
“We are no ordinary dog trainers. We are K9 behavior modification experts! “
“We know there are many dog trainers out there, but we are so confident in our methods that we guarantee you will be happy!
“We have hundreds of dog trainers across the United States and have been asked to run seminars and training all over the world!
“If you are looking for a dog trainer who can be more accomplished in one session than most trainers, this is the proven dog training company you are looking for.
“Do I have to have previous experience with dog training? You don’t need any previous dog training experience, but you do need a love for dogs and a desire to teach and coach dog owners. We understand that the majority of new franchise owners do not have prior dog training experience and in most cases own their own businesses.
Photo by Steven Cogswell
Micha michlewicz (Maryland) Red flags in advertisements for dog training services:
▪ Anything that appears aggressive or threatening, including ultimatums. Refuse [concepts] and archaic keywords. Egocentric, “hardcore” sounding. “Buster” behaviors – this does not imply gentleness or patience. . . or something good at all. “Sit means to sit” is an ultimatum right there. Everything about the end justifies the means. No matter what. Because if they don’t sit down. . . it is not pretty.
▪ “Pack leader”, “alpha”, plays on the word “wolf”. . . [implications that] you have to bully your dog to be “dominant”. (Dogs are not wolves, and I doubt they took the time to learn about wolf behavior either).
▪ “K9” is generally a play about biting working dogs, such as the military and police, as they call their dogs “K9s”. It sounds “hard”. Machism. Gentle and patient “touchy feely” treatment is generally not admired in this frame of mind. There is usually a lot of ego for the trainer and a lot of heaviness for the dog involved.
▪ Something “boot camp”, because it feels like a smooth, patient, and positive experience, doesn’t it? You’re not even there to see what’s going on, which means there are no limits and it’s all about quick results. This training does not address the underlying cause of the behaviors, nor does it give dogs fair enough time to learn and practice the skills they learn under duress and correct mistakes.
▪ Everything about food being “corruption”. An educated behavior professional knows the difference between positive reinforcement and corruption and knows how to use food competently without turning it into corruption.
▪ Anyone who shuns the teaching of behavioral science and learning theory, in preference to “real world” experience. We are all in the real world. There is no monopoly on this. Some professionals have just taken the time to train themselves to better understand and train themselves, to know how not to need so many corrections. Education and experience are not mutually exclusive.
▪ “Master trainer.” It is a very specific school / training course. We call it “crank and snap” because the leash is always pulled out.
▪ Anything that sounds very vague and “woo”. You can throw various things on a wall and see what works at home for free. Or you can invest your finances in a professional who uses evidence-based terms for a better chance of success.
▪ “Natural” generally correlates with high doses of bullying. They tend to call it “the pressure”.
▪ Guarantees. Those [dogs] are not computers on which you restart the operating systems. They are sentient beings who adapt and change.
Threatening? You will have regrets. . . It’s going to be a disaster!
“Don’t risk your puppy falling behind, train you and your dog as soon as you bring him home! Life will collapse, it will be a disaster and you will regret not having enrolled your dog in a program where you get daily results.
This trainer thinks a dog should learn that there is a difference between right and wrong.
“My dog training methods are important. In order to make my training effective, I keep it down to the basics: you have to teach the dog that there is a difference between right and wrong. This would equal the 1st year. After you have accomplished this, you will be able to teach other things. Socialization is equivalent to the 11th or 12th grade.
This company uses proven scientific techniques but cannot write a sentence.
“An experienced and well-rounded dog training since 2002, XYZ uses the proven scientific techniques of positive reinforcement and our innovative methods, we have proven our dog training to work time and time again. Making a good dog is a challenge; takes time and dedication.
This cutting edge approach does not appear to include details on the methods.
“XXX uses a cutting edge approach to dog training and behavior modification. Our training approach encompasses a number of different training tools and approaches depending on the unique circumstances presented by our clients and their animals. At the heart of the XXX Method is attention-based training. This broad approach to training allows XXX trainers to use a variety of attention-based tools (leashes, collars, food, toys, and especially our XXX collar) to achieve the attention goal of controlling distractions by depending on the situation.
I’ll admit it: I have no idea what this next sentence means. I’m not sure I want to know.
“We strongly believe that dogs should be trained using a safe and politically correct training approach. ”
This motto appears prominently on a dog training company’s website:
“Peace in your home “
Will they calm your babies, toddlers, teenagers, bickering in-laws? Will they meditate with you, calm all your anxieties? I just have one more question: does this come with a lifetime warranty?
Reisner Veterinary Behavior Services, LLC (Pennsylvania) For dog owners seeking help with issues ranging from counter-surfing and leash shooting to aggression, there is a cauldron of manipulative and deceptive words. Let us continue to spread the message that coercive and dominance-based dog training is obsolete, unfounded and abusive.