Did you know that an increasing number of Veterinarians are speaking out against using Dominance and Punishment based techniques?
Someone recently asked me my opinion of Cesar Milan, also known as “The Dog Whisperer.” I know that this is a controversial topic. He has a show on TV for Pete’s Sake. So often the logic goes, “He must be good. He gets results, right?”
Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, and Dominance based techniques are all too prevalent and widely accepted in this country, often without questioning! And now, finally, an increasing number of people are speaking out and giving their position in favor of Humane Treatment, Positive Reinforcement Training Methods with Animals.
Did you know that there is an article written by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior stating their position against Punishment based animal training?
Did you know that the AVSAB also has a position article against Dominance Training?
HOORAY! is what I say. Finally some sense and a firm stance is arising from the ‘establishment’ in support of Humane Training Methods based in Positive Reinforcement rather than the use of dominance and punishment!!!
The American Veterinarian Society of Animal Behavior has a petition to Merial, a leading “Animal Wellness” corporation, about a proposed campaign to use the high profile celebrity Cesar Milan as their spokesperson. This means that Merial, the supposedly ‘Animal Wellness” proponents, support Cesar Milan’s Punishment based training methods in their advertising campaign for their parasite prevention products like Frontline and Heart Guard. Do you use these products? Do you support Humane Training Techniques for animals? Which do you want to support?
Did you read the AVSAB position on Punishment based training?
Or the AVSAB Position Article on Dominance? They write; “This statement has been developed for the purpose of clarifying how AVSAB views the theory of dominance relationships between animals. We also hope that it helps to dispel some myths that have recently become more prevalent among some who work in this field.” Click to view.
Please feel free to pass along this info.
Sandy Rakowitz of One Heart Healing Center for People & Animals. Sandy offers a professional perspective with 30+ years experience in the field of Animal Wellness! Sandy offers private sessions in person and via telephone with TTouch, Energy Healing Medicine, Animal Communication, Young Living Therapeutic Essential Oils for people and animals.
Marisa Herrera says
It’s refreshing to see that established institutions like the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior speaking agains using punishment and dominance training against our next of kin.
Unfortunately, we still live in a society where many think we are superior and have control over all the creatures and living systems that support ALL life on Earth; hence the attitude of dominion and abuse.
Indeed, humane treatment and positive reinforcement training methods with non-hman animals are far more effective and rewarding for all involved.
“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall
Jenny Chun, CPDT says
Thank you for spreading the word. As a positive reinforcement dog trainer, it is very difficult for me to have to defend my position everyday to my clients and make them understand why the use of punishment is so bad and why there is so much fall out that results from it. If we can get more of the general public aware of the issue, we can make a change. It’s too bad that we don’t have the advantage of being on these people’s TV sets on a daily basis, showing that using reward based training gets results… as well as a happy dog.
Thank you for posting this. I’ve been working on a similar post for a week or so. May I refer to yours in mine? My problem with referring to this issue is equating the concept of negative reinforcement, i.e. “punishment” with what many mainstream practitioners do on a routine basis. Those trainers and their devotees just do not see it that way.
We have a long long row to hoe.
Thank you for posting this, it’s a great comparison. I’m a positive dog trainer who runs into a lot of clients who greet me with, “I watch The Dog Whisperer and have tried what he said, but the problems just seems to be getting worse.” I’m on the fence trying to decide if it is better to write a post about this on my blog and possibly keeping new clients who are Cesar-followers from contacting me and learning positive techniques, or if it’s better to write the post and spread the word and hope that influences people. Great to see an example done well!
Thanks for posting your comment. I think it is important to follow your heart and what you feel is right. Who are the clients you actually want to reach and then keep? Education about what you do and why it works is the key I believe. Clarity goes a long way, and the people you really want to come to you are the ones who will value what YOU have to say and will value your approach and values, and be more likely to stay with you.
Plus, the information from the Vet board is a way to back yourself.
Nice post about preparing your dog for a baby to come home! Such an important topic.