‘Good To Knows’ Regarding The Unregulated World Of Companion Dog Breeding And Training

This is the introduction to a  ‘Food For Thought Series Regarding The Unregulated World of Dog Breeding and Training’. More, but not exclusively for people thinking of getting a puppy or dog so they can avoid some of the more common ‘before the purchase’ mistakes. It’s also for those that have a dog and are wondering why things may not be working out.

  1. Series Introduction To: Bad Companion Puppy and Dog Training Advice (Pseudo-Science) Is Now More Common Than Good Companion Puppy and Dog Training Advice (Science)
  2. But At Least We Can Rely On Professionals Like Veterinarians and Vet Techs?
  3. You Say You Researched The Breed, The Breeder, The Training Or The Trainer…
  4. Questions To Ask The Breeder Or A Rescue Before Deciding This Is Where You Want To Get A Dog
  5. Questions You Should Ask A Dog Trainer – Especially If They’ve Given Themselves A Fancy Title

'Expert' Advice In The Companion Dog World

(It's As Rare As Hen's Teeth)

resource guardingClients with difficult dogs quite often say to me, ‘I researched the breed,’ which would be valid only if we were to accept (as we have) a very diluted version of what constitutes research. What passes for ‘research’ by the average citizenry on the planet is rarely remotely legitimate research and the vast majority of resources, whether books, websites, videos, alleged experts, amateur dog trainers, etc. are responsible for far more misinformation rather than information. Have a look at the sister article to this piece, ‘You Say You Researched The Breed, The Breeder, The Training Or The Trainer…

The world of information at its best is a noisy place, and to locate pertinent information, we need the cognitive bias and logical fallacy noise filtering headphones of critical thought. We may need them, but they are in short supply. In North America, our educational system does not formally teach critical thinking or educate their maturing youth about the dangers of logical fallacy and cognitive bias. It is only in post-secondary and in a few disciplines that these areas are introduced.

I’m not saying we need to quit our day jobs and become research scientists, but as the sister article just linked to the above informs, we can do a better job. Currently, the information garnered is provided by:

  • Part-Time Amateur Dog Trainers
  • Part-time Amateur Breeders
  • Rescue Volunteers
  • Veterinarians and Vet Techs (neither of which have any training in behavior)
  • Internet Articles And Videos and Books Created By The Above

Mr. BeanWhen it comes to the vast majority of information (content) provided to companion dog owners concerning canine behavior it doesn’t take much digging to learn it’s created and disseminated by people that present themselves as ‘experts’ that are ‘experts’ and believe they are so, for no more reason than they ‘love’ dogs and sometimes based on the silliness of their advice I wonder if their own source of knowledge was the viewing of the Disney movie ‘The Lady And The Tramp’ which they mistook for a documentary about the canine relationship. Provide me with examples of ‘advice’ provided by any of the above categories, and I can, on average in ten minutes make a reasonably convincing argument that they are ill-qualified to do so and that the information they are providing will prove minimally useful and often sooner or later harmful.

Sadly, to make it even harder, the Internet has become a petri dish and social media the perfect medium to cultivate virulent viruses, otherwise known as ignorance and stupidity. It’s seems always poised to take advantage.

Another disseminator of misinformation, even less encumbered by critical thought and ethics, is the evil subterranean category of ‘experts’ whose primary if not sole interest is taking advantage of those that love dogs, for ‘clicks’ and subsequently profit. My website askthedogguy.com generates a fair amount of traffic, and I’m regularly contacted by people who want to write guest posts that they can link to on their own websites. To date, no one has legitimate credentials, unless, ‘I love dogs so much’ are credentials. They often use the nauseating language of pet parent and fur baby a definite give away that they should be learning not teaching.

It is a real problem because any layperson intent on being thorough in their research to find the right rescue, breed, breeder, or trainer is going to run into problems. The fields of breeding and training are unregulated but densely populated. The rescue world is now often more rescue mill than legitimate rescue. These fields are so heavily populated though that the nonsense they sell/spew is the majority of what is to be found on pretty much any topic related to the companion dog world. So, densely populated, they even have their own official ‘associations’ and ideological ‘certifications’ to convey an unwarranted sense of legitimacy to an unsuspecting public. To breed dogs, one just needs to know the difference between a male and a female and to train, be able to afford a bag of treats and some business cards. To write or video about either one just needs a keyboard and a smartphone. 

– John Wade 🐾 (www.askthedogguy.com)

The Entire Series...

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