The Hidden Cost to Dog Owner and Society
The concept of "obedience" for dogs and accordingly also the idea of "disobedience" is
- and costly
to the society as a whole, not just to the individual dog owner.
"Huh, what??" you must be thinking. "How can that be! The entire dog world is built upon obedience!" Well, no and yes. Yes because:
- Obedience dog training is HUGE, yes
- Obedience competition is HUGE, yes
- Obedience in dog shows is HUGE, yes
- The APDT, the AKC, and even grandma's tea party in the suburbs, ALL are keen on dog obedience, yes
- Obedience is so HUGE in almost every article and TV show that has ever aired that too few people dare to question the sense and purpose of the concept of "obedience" for dogs.
- Dog obedience is misguided because the concept of "obedience" is purely human, it has nothing to do with the nature of dogs
- Dog obedience is foolish because an "obedient" dog naturally is only "obedient" when the owner/handler/trainer is nearby (if at all) and so the dog feels she will be "rewarded" or avoid "punishment" in some form if she behaves in a certain way. But today's owner/handler/trainer has a job to do and cannot always be in an arm's reach of the dog
- Dog obedience is painful because it is this training to behave different subject to who is present that causes dog bite wounds, the mauling of children, destroyed home interiors, scared family members, and frustrated dog owners - even while the owner may have been nearby!
- And dog obedience is costly because a training outcome where the dog had to learn to behave different subject to who is around is ineffective whenever the owner/handler/trainer is not around - which is often! Dog liability insurers have the details, dog owners pay the premium, and victims pay the price!
This must end.
YOU can be the tipping point to help make it end. Link to us. Send others here. Speak about it.
Obedience Training for dogs appears to be the only dog training that today's generations of dog trainers know. So no surprise that it also is the only dog training that dog owners know and apply, one way or another.
What is Obedience Training anyway?
By its very name, all forms of Obedience Training comprise an element of lure or reward, or force or fear to get the dog "obedient", as well as some form of punishment for "disobedience". Whether the punishment is to withhold the lure or reward, or to jerk on the leash, or to raise the arm in a threatening way, or whatever else. Because when you expect the dog to be "obedient" then you must have some form of punishment when the dog is not.
The dog trainers who believe they are the good ones use only lure and/or reward, and the other dog trainers who also believe they are the good ones - and that only they can effectively train dogs - they use force and/or fear in addition to lure and/or reward.
Although often criticized, Cesar Millan is not so foolish to only use force and fear, that is a misrepresentation. All dog trainers I have ever met or seen use lure and/or reward, even where not exclusively. And today almost all of them use "treats" as the lure or reward, even where not exclusively, since the use of force and fear has gotten a bad reputation. You may have seen this with household names like Ian Dunbar and now the youtube shooting star Zak George?
At MYGERMANSHEPHERD.ORG we call that "treat training" and we reject that like all other forms of Obedience Training as the prime focus of dog trainers and owners, club functionaries and competition judges. Still!
What are the Problems with ALL forms of Obedience Training?
Dog Obedience gets massively overemphasized by "professional" dog trainers, competition sponsors, show organizers, dog sport clubs, etc. And so by dog owners too. Regardless which breed of dog or mix they have. But now you know what you can expect to get when you choose Obedience Training for your dog as your only dog training approach. So better choose wisely.