Monday, January 16, 2012

Right or wrong, Cesar protests will continue

Being in the public eye, Cesar Milan is probably used to people protesting against some of his methods. I am not a fan of shock collars and pinch collars. That being said, I believe we must always look at the big picture.
There is no determining board who sanctions one kind of training over another. I have seen people with a lot of letters and acronyms after their names who I wouldn't send any animal to, because I don't like their attitude. This doesn't mean they are not good at what they do, but that for whatever reason, I clashed with them.
The use of tools, which is what shock collars and pinch collars are, can sometimes be misused by people who don't have a clue what they are doing. Many of these same people believe if a dog shows any aggression, food or otherwise, they should be destroyed. So is it better to use a tool at your disposal and save the dog or go ahead and kill the dog because you don't like the tool?
Positive reinforcement is the key word in dog training right now. Many "trainers" refuse to work with dogs who show any aggression. I have never seen Cesar refuse to work with any dog, no matter the level of problem.
Is he right or wrong? The pack mentality is a true condition. I have watched it with my own dogs and many dogs I have worked with at the shelter. I have also watched trainers begin working with animals using the tools available and then graduating with a more calming approach. I have seen trainers talk owners out of using pinch collars because the owners were clueless in the proper way to use the tool and the dog ended up being hurt, which just stimulated the aggression.
I believe there are some dogs out there who will never be able to go into a home. They have simply been so scarred by humans, the bond of trust has been broken. The animals may, if they are lucky, live out their lives in a sanctuary. More of them will be killed than saved.
I have also seen dogs who even though humans have never done anything good towards them, bounce back quickly with human interaction and make wonderful family pets.
There are also dogs in between, who take a little more time, but in the end, become cherished family pets.
Some of them have had pinch collars or E collars used.
The final question is can the animal be saved? If one of the mentioned tools can help rehabilitate a previously unadoptable dog, should it be used or should the dog be destroyed? Only you can answer that question.
Cesar Milan has done a lot of educating of humans in the psychology of dogs. Should we take that away because we don't like some of his methods?
Sue Sternberg, who has been around a lot longer than Cesar, developed Assess-A-Pet testing for aggressive tendencies in dogs. Many shelters still use this and then kill the animals who fail this test as unadoptable even though many times these dogs can be rehabilitated.
I have watched Victoria Stillwell achieve success on her Animal Planet show but she doesn't work well with aggression in my opinion.
As long as there are rescue people, there will be disputes on training. When you are in the public eye, you expect that to happen. Why don't we give kudos to those who are attempting to educate and train instead of chastising them for using methods we disagree with?

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