How many times have you seen it? One trainer trashing another’s methods. It happens all the time, people have different ideas about what constitutes “acceptable” training methods for dogs, and they can be very vocal when they don’t agree. I have never understood why there is so much infighting in animal rescue. So there I am perusing facebook over my morning coffee when I come across a post i can identify with….
Now that I’ve finished dragging out my soap box & stepped up on it, I’ve got a serious question.
Why is it that quite a few (I want to say “most” or “all” but I think that’s not necessarily true) rescues, shelters, trainers, and animal rights activists in general are so fond of tearing each other down?
It’s something I’ve noticed more and more of. I’m sure it’s always been there, and I’m just noticing it now. I’m just baffled at this behavior. Publicly & privately I see people slamming each other’s organizations. From little quips on Twitter, small comments on Facebook, to full blown websites devoted to trashing people and groups.
I can understand singling out a person if there are verified, legal violations that have occurred. What I see mostly is what I would consider water cooler gossip.
We all have different minds, experiences, methods, and lives. Why must we tear each other down because someone doesn’t do things exactly the same way we do? We’re all working towards the same goal whether we working in rescue, training & rehab, fighting BSL, etc. It’s all geared to ultimately help dogs.
A friend of mine recently reminded me of the number one rule of dog training. “The only thing two trainers will ever agree on, is that the third trainer has no idea what they’re doing.”
This illustrates my question. I train and rehab using methods similar to Cesar Millan. It’s what works for me & the dogs I deal with. Now that I have stated this publicly, some people will now judge me, and view me in a different light. They may even possibly stop following BABSL. Why? If you can’t tell by now that I love dogs (that means *all* dogs), and I would *never* do anything to harm them; and your opinion (and it is *just* an opinion, mind you) that methods of training and rehab that are similar to Cesar’s are somehow abusive, then I can’t do anything about that.
I don’t love clicker training. I think it can work for some dogs, but not all. I don’t condemn trainers that focus on that though.
It’s all personal preference and what works for you. This rant isn’t just about training & rehab, though. The same attitude happens constantly between rescues and animal rights activists. It’s just easier to illustrate my point with training & rehab.
Recently, I posted that I would love to bring all the groups together under the BABSL umbrella. I honestly don’t think that’s possible anymore. If we all fight and back stab each other, how do the dogs win from that? Have we lost focus of the ultimate goal? Does this just have to be the way it is? In-fighting, and bickering? Sure there are plenty of groups that work together, and do so extremely well, but I see more fighting than cooperation.
I just don’t have the mental capacity to understand this behavior. It seems to me the time & energy spent trashing, bad mouthing, creating whole fucking website devoted to disparaging comments could be much better spent doing what we all got involved in this for…helping dogs.
I very honestly and truly want a discussion to result from this rant. I want to know why. My wife has a theory, but I’m going to keep that to myself until later. Please help me understand why all this negativity happens, and why, to paraphrase Rodney King, we can’t all just get along?
Off my soap box now. I’ll leave it here in case anyone else wants to hop up. Thanks for reading.