When it rains, it pours…

In the writing of German Shepherd Adventures, my most important activity is researching, learning, and applying what I learn.  Testing, Proving, and vetting every statement.  An honest writer, dog-trainer, or scientist will do all of these things with due diligence.  When research conclusions are presented, they should be based, not on popularity, pre-conceived bias on the writers part, or, in the worst cases, financial interests.  An Honest researcher will know as much, or more, about the idea’s and techniques that he is criticising than he does about the technique he defends with such fervor and supposed expertise.

Let me repeat that:   An Honest researcher will know as much, or more, about the idea’s and techniques that he is criticising than he does about the technique he defends with such fervor and supposed expertise.

The old axiom about three dog-trainers only agreeing that two of them are dead wrong, belies the notion that we are all open-minded to other opinions.  In fact, this applies to so many things beyond dog-training that the mind reels.  Ever listened to a Presidential debate?  Both sides will always agree to join hands across the aisle, in a spirit of bi-partisanship, “as long as we do things my way…”

This continue’s to be the state of dog-training.  Facebook, web-sites, and blogs are virtual battlegrounds of scorched-earth policies, and declarations of “Our side wins!” Because one side  shouts louder than the other.  Most of the warriors are faceless, and probably haven’t used a real name online since they first learned to access Facebook.  But they are the virtual spear point when someone opines something that they have been programmed to disagree with so vehemently. Others will infiltrate pages that they disagree with, and begin to attempt covert operations from within, feeling that they will change someones mind thru argument.  The subject may be Operant conditioning, Alpha theory, Cesar Millan, or whatever else the argumentative personality wants to ignite…The only real objective is to make themselves famous, (or infamous) as being the “Expert” on their method.

Don’t mis-understand me, I’m as guilty as anyone of being critical of other training methods. And occasionally the debate has been worthy of consideration.  I welcome debate that reasons and educates.   And that is exactly what has led me to institute a new policy here, and on my Facebook pages.  Let me repeat something before I illuminate this policy:

 An Honest researcher will know as much, or more, about the idea’s and techniques that he is criticising than he does about the technique he defends with such fervor and supposed expertise.

From this point on, I will continue to develop my “Communicative Approach” method, and sharing details of my evolution as a student and practitioner of “Natural Dog Training.”  You should realize that I’ve been thru and practiced any method I may criticize or question.  They have been vetted.  They have been weighed.  They have been measured.  And they have been found wanting. For my use…I don’t mind that you disagree with me, just don’t be disagreeable about it!!!

I am now pursuing a method that makes sense, works, and feels right for me and my dogs.  Go find yours.

Therefore, I will now hold to a  standard that requires any debate, argument, or criticism you want to post here or on Facebook, to follow this protocol.

First:  Prove that you are familiar and have practiced the method you are criticising for enough time that you can constructively do so.  That means, “explain to the readers what the technique is” that you are questioning.

Second: Don’t list your Academic Accolades as evidence that you are above other dog trainers in the area of intelligence.  Degrees only prove that you managed to get out of bed and show up for classes.  I know, I have them too.

Third and maybe most importantly:  Don’t begin your argument by stating that your method is best because…Without observing Protocol # 1 First.

If we all practiced this way of doing things, it will cut down on meaningless and stupid arguments.  It will certainly cast by the wayside, those who are militant or just like to start arguments for the sake of arguing.  It will reveal those people who have something valuable to contribute.  It will thoroughly vet those have walked in other people’s shoes on their journey thru dog training/behavior, and have a thorough understanding of the journey.  Such people are “Helpers”, “Mentors”…not just angry purveyors of biased opinion.  Maybe within a few months of everybody trying this approach, we’ll all be able to engage in civil dialogue…Maybe we’ll all flap our arms and fly to the moon together.

But it’s how I’m going to approach the debate from now on.

  1. There is no substitute for experience and everyone’s own experience is true..it is how we perceive the result of our experience that the waters can begin to get muddy.

    I look at life as a perpetual student, not formally as within the halls (real or virtual) of institution, but certainly as equally diligent.

    I often question the designate letters of formalized education when in a scenario of a new graduate, or even one in the field for several years perceived to have some higher knowledge or skill than a practitioner of a multitude of years. Certainly neither is any absolute indication of higher knowledge over the other..EITHER way. However the weight and value of valid experience in my opinion tips in favor.

    The fundamental question is “…is that based on your own experience or because the herd deems it so”

    It is most troubling this current arena of dog training, dog behavior, the varied sciences, in that it can be so polarized in view to the point of mine field contention where if you take one aspect from one discipline you are chastised for this or that. And it seems that there is contention in every camp. Me? I am a border crosser, in fact I refuse to have any real restrictions other than “do no harm”. Ambiguous..yes it is.

    Stay the course.