A couple of my friends and I were talking about new age dog trainers sweeping the industry with mass following and strong, compelling messages.
The reason new age dog training is becoming so popular is because they’re addressing a common problems with ease, and it’s being represented as something that is fairly simple that anyone can quickly learn and do. This is the case with different areas of dog training.
What’s happening is, there’s a large amount of interest in dog training, and people are getting swept away by the attractive “before and after”s.
Do you remember when the fitness industry went through this new age phase? It’s not as bad anymore as more people are starting to see that nothing compares to the basics of fitness, hard work and healthy eating.
But in past years, there was always a new ad for the latest pill, the latest colon cleanse, the latest machine, the newest technique!
These marketers knew exactly how to manipulate the masses! PRESENT THE AUDIENCE WITH A COMMON PROBLEM, ASSOCIATE ENOUGH PAIN TO THE EXPERIENCE, AND SHOW THEM A FAIRLY EASY SOLUTION ANYONE CAN DO.
Brilliant!! Magic formula!
Of course the fitness experts knew it was all bullshit, but who wants to hear that there’s nothing new about getting fit? Who wants to hear that getting fit and losing weight is not complicated? Just hard, but not magical.
This is exactly what’s happening in the dog training industry! These new age dog trainers are advocating “magical”, “spiritual” and quick solutions. All you need is this tool, that tool and that technique. It’s promoting overthinking, over reading, and many times the complete opposite, over-correcting.
A number of dog trainers with only a fraction of the following and popularity are looking from the sidelines and shaking their heads. Why?
-Because a rolled up towel is just the equivalent of a damn rolled up newspaper.
-Because pressure training is just plain old negative reinforcement.
-Because BAT training is just Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors.
-Because “energy” is just demeanor and body language.
The list goes on and on.
No one wants to hear that literally everything stems from the basics of operant and classical conditioning, as well as basic principles outlined in the 40’s in laboratories. There is nothing magical about dog training, you just have to learn the basics.
If you’re a professional dog trainer, meaning, you take people’s hard earned money to train their dogs, you owe it to your clients to understand and master these basics! You wouldn’t go to a doctor or a mechanic who just kind of understands their field and gets their expertise from youtube or a few seminars. You would want a professional and an avid learner in their field!
THERE IS NOTHING NEW ABOUT DOG TRAINING. That doesn’t mean that dog training is easy, but once you master the basic principles, you’ll see that everything comes from there.
Master the science behind dog training, master the basic principles, understand the logic and the data. Simply knowing techniques without understanding why and how they work is a huge disservice to your dogs and your clients.