Friday, January 13, 2012

Idiots, Reputation and Taking a Stand

Normally I wouldn't blog about this kind of thing, but at the moment my blood is boiling and if I don't start venting soon, the steam will be coming out of my ears and not long after that, my tiny little agility filled brain will explode...  I already have huge issues with these fantastic (being sarcastic), skilled (being very sarcastic), knowledgeable (being so sarcastic I deserve a smack), so-called (not being sarcastic) 'dog whisperers'.  In other word dominance trainers that actually have no understanding of the modern domestic dog.  But this one takes the cake.  I invite you to watch James Lech, the (so-called) South African Dog 'Shaman's' (so-called) rehabilitated Rottweiler and (so-called) therapy dog in a shopping mall last year:

Now I am NOT a qualified dog behaviourist, however I have worked with dogs for 18 years and I have come to my own conclusion just watching that stupid little video.  Did you also come to a conclusion?

As if that was not bad enough.  As if that did not embarrass and compromise responsible and semi-knowledgeable dog owners enough, he levelled to the following:

While I am not going to get into controversial arguments regarding the training methods (or misunderstanding there of), I DO want to mention the situation that so-called experts like this put us, as responsible agility dog trainers in.

No, I am not exaggerating, I have met this guy on a few occasions. It is not just a media induced opinion. Regardless of that, the said Rottie is A RISK TO SOCIETY, I do not trust that dog with myself, my dogs or any other living thing.  My instincts in that regard are pretty reliable.  And even if it was not, the response on FB was so extreme from those that have met him, all agreeing with me, that he really should not be allowed in the dog-world.

South Africa is NOT a dog-friendly country.  Around here dogs are not allowed in ANY shopping malls, absolutely not in public transport.  Finding accommodation when we travel to shows are a nightmare (and very expensive).  Hotels and motels?  Forget about it!  Only privately owned B&B's and cottages for us.  Even when we do take our dogs to public parks, people run in fear and hide behind bushes (Okay, so this time I might be exaggerating a little bit).  Basically dogs are not allowed anywhere (and just by the way, by LAW not on the beach that he was walking his dog off-lead).  Now with his wonderful reputation (yes sarcasm again) and all this fantastic exposure to the dog world (even more sarcasm), we do not stand a chance.

I am writing about ONE country and ONE irresponsible #$^%@#$^%^ (remember my blog is family rated).  While I blame the uneducated 'so-called dog trainers', this incident DOES prove one thing.  Us, as responsible dog-owning public need to take a stand and make it KNOWN.  We need to make the general 'non-dog-world' pet owners understand that people like this and other very well known 'uneducated but charismatic' public dog figures are not acceptable.  We need to promote responsible pet-ownership.  We need to get our Kennel Unions and Kennel Associations to MARKET themselves, so people know what it is all about.  We need to get the information out there, so people can make the right decisions.  Even if you can give this information to ten people, it will make a difference.  It is time to pay it forward in the dog world.  It is time to disprove fallacies, correct stigmas and reveal truth.

If that truth comes to light, fame-hunting, uneducated trainers will not survive.  If we make human kind realise that in dog training and behaviourism, the 'ideal result' (in their eyes), does not actually mean that the issue has been resolved.  If we make them realise that cruelty and unreliability exists in their 'solutions', they might understand where we come from.  Instead of starting public debates (and thereby creating more support for the uneducated), let's give them the facts.  Let's make the information available to anyone that has access to Google.


  1. Well said!
    Poor little girl .. and poor dog! Both ANIMALS were put in a situation that they were not well equipt to handle. No trainer worth their salt would ever, ever have a clearly unstable dog in a crowded environment like this. What a sin that this man is so utterly ignorant about temperament!
    I wish you great luck in your quest to rid your world of dangerous people like this trainer.

  2. That poor little girl!!

    I agree with you completely. Not only did this (*&$@#% do a disservice to dog trainers, but also to service dogs and Rottweilers. We (Malamutes) are having an issue where people buy wolf hybrids. In some states they're legal, and in some states they're not. In the states where they're illegal, they claim the wolves to be Malamutes and then when they maim someone, who gets blamed? The breed.

    That's another issue entirely though. There's a local woman near me who claims that she's the "Border Collie Whisperer." She's never trained a rescue - never done any rehabilitation - only has fast agility dogs. Let's all sign up and promote her miraculous methods because it's really amazing to get a border collie to be a speedy agility dog (being sarcastic).

    Hopefully the little girl isn't traumatized for life.

  3. Thanks Amy and Catherine, for confirming that these 'kind of situations' happen internationally. I have now taken it upon myself to fight this battle internationally again!