I was a professional dog trainer for years, but it never sat right with me. I was in it for the dogs, you see, and when you train dogs for roles, you have to think just as much about the position they will fill as you do the dog.
And I just wanted to think about the dog.
That’s why I was there.
This is why I find the current changes we see in the dog training industry so heartening.
Good pet dog trainers are moving into being family dog therapists.
Excellent dog trainers are becoming ethologists.
Dogs are being encouraged to be who they are, and their guardians learn what their dogs need.
We have started watching them for fear, anxiety and pain.
We heartily and scientifically question the backward habit of labelling their struggles as ‘dominance’.
We encourage understanding.
We embrace a dog’s individuality.
We understand that behaviour is just a dog trying to meet their needs in an unnatural environment.
Instead of changing that behaviour, we identify the dog’s needs, and we meet them halfway.
We don’t create an oppressed dog; we create harmony.
We are getting better at it all the time.
Thank dog for that.
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