It’s Time!

scaredI’ve been away from this blog, not because I didn’t have things to share, I took a break because I feared I was becoming a grump. Every day the dog community, retailers, trainers and other professionals put out information and products that at best are just a waste of our time and money, and at worst contributors to the failure of an owner to find a solution to the problems impacting their willingness to continue living with a dog. I’ve been called close-minded because I refuse to suggest and endorse products and training methods that have provided no evidence, other than anecdotal, that they work. Some have even been tested and found not to work, yet remain in the mainstream of dog medical and behavioral health.

I understand how hard it is to know what the right thing is to do, the right path to be on. We put our trust into the supposed professionals and experts in the training and medical fields to guide us. Unfortunately this has turned out to be, in too many cases, like trusting the banking industry to do what’s best for your bottom-line. It’s not easy to live life as a skeptic, to be constantly questioning and trying to follow the logic of those who are content to keep repeating their misinformed ideas, and supporting it with bad arguments.

The goal of this blog has always been to provide information to help us work with the most vulnerable dogs among us, the fearful, the anxious, the shy, the abused, the neglected. Along the way I’ve made missteps. I bought into the arguments made by nice (and some not so nice) people, for products and techniques that did not provide what they said they did. I learned and continue to learn more about how behavior works and know that we have the information we need to help our dogs, we just need to get really good at doing what we need to do. That is my goal, not to just complain and vent about the daily nonsense the dog blogging community tweets and posts on Facebook (though some is so spectacularly silly it’s hard to resist). I am not arrogant, I am tired. I am angry at the years I wasted filling my head with incorrect information and making rubbish make sense. I am embarrassed by what I fell for.

What I am proud to do is offer seminars, workshops, consultations and webinars to help further the use of evidence-based training methods for all dogs. Join me in New Orleans at the Louisiana SPCA on October 15, 2016 to learn more about how fear impacts behavior and the most humane and effective ways to help dogs.

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6 comments so far

  1. All Dogs Are Smart on

    Excellent! Glad to see more action regarding this. I believe we actually spend too much time talking about the “bad stuff” and not doing more to show how the “good stuff” works. Why not saturate the world with proof of what we are trying to show instead of focusing on the bad?

    • fearfuldogs on

      You know it. We have pet owners in our Fearful Dog Group on Facebook rocking it with these dogs by doing the right stuff and getting really good at it!

  2. example58943 on

    I totally understand! I have a blog about animals too and spend my life advocating for rescue and animal rights, and it’s exhausting just being aware of what the animals go thru on a daily basis because of human ignorance. I also have a fearful dog, and recently discovered that a good part of his issues might actually be due to the fact that he was taken away from his mother and his litter at only 4 weeks of age. He missed that very important window of learning that takes place between 4 and 12 weeks, where puppies learn to relate to humans and the world. But he was in danger of being put down by a city shelter because of, once again, human ignorance. If he had only been allowed to stay with his litter for an appropriate amount of time, there might have been a totally different life for him, one that would have been much less fearful. Thanks for what you do!

    • fearfuldogs on

      There is always something we can do to help make their lives a little easier and better. Thanks for playing a part in making that happen.

  3. ariana olenska on

    So glad for what u are doing! I could have written the first paragraph of your article. I became a “trainer” and “behaviorist” in order to help an abandoned dog I took in.. not realizing what I was taking on. I’m a human scientist, that with general common sense allowed me to see that what the local “experts” were providing me was not only not helpful, but often harmful. This dog was labelled “aggressive” (and he was acting out .. eventually dangerously), however I knew he was really afraid, and simply reacting the way an scared animal would. I realized I was going to have to learn how to help him.. so I studied everything I could, read everything I could get my hands on. I found there is information out there, but still the general public of course, but worse supposed “dog” experts – rescue groups, trainers, vets..were not educated. I do not work as a trainer or any dog professional formally, however I have learned so much, I enjoy talking, sharing with others, and continuing to learn.

    I currently have a dog who has some fear based issues.. so am eager to find others to brainstorm with, and to continue to learn from. I would love to take seminars, buy books, but am on disability with chronic illness now, so anything above basic needs is not possible, but I’m glad I found your blog, maybe can find some folks to talk with. Over the years I have been lucky to meet many professionals who have graciously shared their time and knowledge with me for my dog 🙂

    You certainly are not alone in how you feel! It is very frustrating when there is so much science available, yet there is an industry that promotes crappy techniques, products, useless supplements and voodoo, and people who should IMO, be the ones to know better, don’t!

    • fearfuldogs on

      The fearfuldogs.com website has lots of information that can help you.


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