The Internet has provided a lot of places for dog people to gather and talk about their favourite subject – dogs! But do our hypothetical discussions of “what-if” dog training do us any good without trying it out on real dogs? I’m not so sure it’s good for either us or the dogs.
Dog people can be passionate. Coming to a new and deeper understanding of dogs and training can be a profound experience. If we are careful, our advocacy for working with dogs becomes a dogma. It’s important to focus on doing better for our dogs and not get hung up on all the “wrong” ways of working with dogs.
Dogs are both wonderfully simple creatures and yet very capable of learning very complex behaviours and concepts. But do we sometimes expect more of them than we should? They don’t think like humans even though the seem to understand us very well. Sometimes it’s best to break things down for them and keep it “Dog Simple.”
The Dog Whisperer television program has become a part of our cultural fabric in the early 21st century. But divisive debate and harsh rhetoric has transformed it from a program designed for entertainment into a lightning rod for controversy over differing approaches to living and working with dogs. Perhaps the time has come to put The Dog Whisperer back into perspective and see it for what it was always intended to be.