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Here are articles from other sites that provide additional info about topics in mentioned in this article:

The Dog Whisperer Controversy

Q&A from Cesar's Fans

Book Review: Cesar's Way

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior weighs in on the use of Punishment in training animals

What IS Dog Friendly? By Trainers Academy, LLC Staff

Ian Dunbar is the Anti-Cesar Milan

Pack of Lies

Dog Psychology 101

Ben: An Aggressive Dog Case Study

Buyer Beware: Why you need to know your trainer

Who Do you Trust to Train Your Dog?

Dog Trainer "Exorcised" Pet to Death

Dog Dies in Care of Trainer

Assembly to Ban Shock Collars in Wales, England
Environment Minister Carwyn Jones said, “If people keep dogs, they must expect to take the time to train the animal properly and not resort to a quick fix by the use of these collars... Using such devices also raises the question of a duty of care towards the animal, which is the core of the Animal Welfare Act.”
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Think your dog may be aggressive! Click here.

 

Buyer Beware: Trainers

Slick TV shows, engaging slogans, adorable ad campaigns… all of these things have become a mainstay in the pet industry these days.

Every year the pet industry sees growth. with estimated sales in 2006 at $36.4 billion, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association.  This is up $2.1 billion from last year, and $17.4 billion from a decade ago.

So, from a business perspective, slick marketing campaigns makes sense. But how is the average American dog lover supposed to make heads or tails of it all?

Now more than ever, it is important to research where you get your dog, what you feed your dog and who to call when you need help training your dog.

Trainers Academy, LLC would like to give you the tools you need to learn where to look and what questions to ask to insure you are investing in the right training services, for your sake, and your dog’s too.

There probably is no other service that it is vital to do your research than dog training. The wrong training can create more issues, and can actually cost your dog’s life.

This is also not an area where you want to attempt to replicate training methods you see on TV. First of all, keep in mind that hours of training is condensed to a 10 -15 minute segment. In addition, anyone can look like a brilliant trainer when you can edit out failures.

This has never been more the case than with trainers that use “alpha” or dominance” techniques.  Any dog care professional who trains with these outdated methods has not studied any recent research on wolves or dogs.

We get many calls at Trainers Academy, LLC from owners who have been instructed to “dominate”, or have tried things they have seen on TV and now new, fear-based behavior developed. Unfortunately, these owners unknowingly created a lot more work for themselves. But at least we can get them on the right path. Not all dogs are so lucky. This article describes one owner’s heartbreak when she trusted a “professional” trainer:

http://www.woofology.info/GSDtrainer.htm

At the end of this article, we have attached a press release regarding a recent lawsuit filed against Cesar Milan, another advocate of the pack theory. Our president, Lisa Patrona, Dip. CBST, CPDT-KA, ACDBC, AABP-CDT, has been in contact with the lawyer representing the family of Gator, a dog that was severely injured at Milan’s Dog Psychology Center in Los Angeles, California.  She, along with several other well-known dog experts, have weighed in on how some of his training methods have proven to be dangerous.  

Trainers Academy, LLC provides resources that will help you find the right trainer for you. Here are several articles that you should read before investing in any trainer.

http://www.woofology.com/trainerhunt.html

http://www.woofology.com/PosReinforcement.html

We are committed to help you find the right program for you. In addition, Lisa’s involvement with Companion Animal Sciences Institute and the International Institute for Applied Companion Animal Behavior brings her in contact with trainers across the country. So if you are not in the Metro-Detroit area and need a referral, e-mail us at trainersacademy@aol.com.

The “Gator” Press Release Follows:

EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON “DOG WHISPERER” LAWSUIT
Experts from around the country have come forward to comment on the lawsuit filed May 4th by television producer Flody Suarez (8 Simple Rules) against Cesar Millan (“The Dog Whisperer”) and his facility for severe injuries to his dog, Gator. Gator continues to require medical treatment and still cannot eat normally.

World-renowned dog trainers, behaviorists and veterinarians had all warned National Geographic that Millan’s methods had the potential for disaster. Below are quotes from noted experts:

“Cesar Millan's methods are based on flooding and punishment. The results, though immediate, will be only transitory. His methods are misguided, outmoded, in some cases dangerous, and often inhumane. You would not want to be a dog under his sphere of influence. The sad thing is that the public does not recognize the error of his ways.”

Dr. Nicholas Dodman -  Professor and Head, Section of Animal Behavior, Director of Behavior Clinic, Tufts University -Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

“Practices such as physically confronting aggressive dogs and using of choke collars for fearful dogs are outrageous by even the most diluted dog training standards.  A profession that has been making steady gains in its professionalism, technical sophistication and humane standards has been greatly set back.  I have long been deeply troubled by the popularity of Mr. Millan as so many will emulate him.  To co-opt a word like ‘whispering’ for arcane, violent and technically unsound practice is unconscionable.” Jean Donaldson, The San Francisco SPCA-Director of The Academy for Dog Trainers.

"A number of qualified professionals have voiced concern for the welfare of pet dogs that experience the strong corrections administered by Mr. Millan.  My concerns are based on his inappropriateness, inaccurate statements, and complete fabrications of explanations for dog behavior. His ideas, especially those about ‘dominance’, are completely disconnected from the sciences of ethology and animal learning, which are our best hope for understanding and training our dogs and meeting their behavioral needs.

Many of the techniques he encourages the public to try are dangerous, and not good for dogs or our relationships with them."

Dr. Suzanne Hetts, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist

Co-owner of Animal Behavior Associates, Inc., Littleton, CO.

"Cesar Millan employs outdated methods that are dangerous and inhumane.

Using a choke chain and treadmill to treat fear of strangers and dogs is completely inappropriate.  Hopefully the National Geographic Channel will listen to the scientific community and discontinue production of The Dog Whisperer."

Vyolet Michaels, CTC (Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Counselor)

Excerpt of letter from Lisa Patrona, Dip. CBST, CPDT-KA, ACDBC, AABP-CDT to National Geographic before airing “The Dog Whisperer”:

“The intended program depicts aversive and abusive training methods - treatment for some serious anxiety and fear based issues - being administered by an individual with no formal education whatsoever in canine behavioral sciences. The ‘results’ that are shown are more than likely not long lasting changes, but the result of learned helplessness, or fatigue, neither of which impact behavior to any significant long term degree - at least not in a good way. For those of us who are pioneering the effort to end the ignorance that drives the cruel treatment administered upon our canine companions, it is disappointing to see that this programming will reach the masses - especially on the NG Channel.
The ignorance that this program perpetuates will give equally ignorant people the green light to subject their dogs to abuse.  In turn these dogs will react even more defensively, will bite more people - and end up dead.”

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