Why some dog trainers should not be using off lead dog parks
But here is the kind of logic we come to here (which coincidently coincides with many council website's logic too. "If you take your dog to a dog park you need to be sure with 95% certainty that your dog is going to recall." Off the record many of these people believe a dog should be within a 10m radius of their owner at all times. This seemingly innocuous statement appears to be 'well meaning'. From the council it is often aimed at discouraging dog park use, so that the parks can be converted over to people only parks, thus in their mind disposing of a risky problem.
The REAL risk is having non social dogs in the suburbs because they didn't have off lead dog parks near them where they could grow up learning to be social and burn off energy.
Why dog trainers talk about 95% recall ONLYThe 95% recall things is a dog trainers dream. If it became law it would make dog owners have to pay a very expensive dog trainer a lot of money for very little extra gain. The average person with average dog can learn most recall skills from youtube videos or volunteer dog obedience organisations like Altona dog obedience club.You do not need a "pro" dog trainer to teach your dog recall. BUT you need to spend time walking your dog regularly off lead, or pay someone suitable to do it, if you want to teach your dog about being social, and maintain them being social.
Recall has nothing to do with making a dog 'friendly' or it knowing how to behave socially in any situation.
This particular dog trainer and many dog trainers like him are all about rules and restrictions with very little knowledge about dog socialisation, because that is not how they spend their time, nor how they make their money. There is nothing wrong with a dog being well trained and social. We expect dogs in dog parks to have recall, what we don't like is aggressive dogs in dog parks. Ironically one of the major issues we have seen in the past is dog trainers taking a non social dog to a dog park and trialling their recall.
I would take a 75% trained 100% social dog over a 95% trained non social dog any day. The reason being that a social dog isn't going to bite another dog or human. The social dog will 'train' other dogs in the way of social play or how to say no politely. They will not be a major risk.People who complain around dogs not being 95% recall are either dog trainers (who profit from training) or people who take dogs to dog parks and have a non social aggressive dog. Their logic is that if their dog is on lead, even if it is aggressive as Satan, its the OTHER dog and OTHER owners fault if the other persons off lead dog approaches theirs and gets bitten IN AN OFF LEAD DOG PARK.
This is the American model of litigation, this is the UK upper-class model of 'restraint'. It is not how an off lead dog park needs to operate. Off lead dog parks are not created ONLY to teach recall. They should not have aggressive or non social dogs in them, so if anything an off-lead dog park should be off limits to 95% if dog trainers who think like this. That the park is there for them to experiment with a non social dog and get paid handsomely for testing unsuspecting dogs with their aggressor.
Who is this dog trainer?I have met this highly aggressive righteous dog trainer in the past, and he is a danger in dog parks, and probably society in general with his 19th century thinking. He loves to curse at dogs and dog owners and scare people into his dog think. The problem we have with this type of dog trainer is that they have a loyal legion of rabid fans, with big powerful dogs, that the dog trainer fully supports. They have a tight knit aggressive stance on how dog parks should be run and its not about dogs being social, its about the dog trainer increasing his fan base and bank balance.
Just like puppy mills should be banned, perhaps we need more govt regulation on cowboy dog trainers who think shouting the loudest and luring other people's dogs over to them to prove that it doesn't have 95% recall should get your dog bitten or banned from the park.The shame and sham of this all is that they have become the go to person for the Melbourne media to interview whenever there is a big aggressive dog killing another dog or human. They explain that its not the breed, and that the owner should have TRAINED their dog better (hint, hint, with them). Naturally they never think of telling a person to teach their dog socialisation, as there is no profit in this for them.
They are the bag of hammers in this media circus, and the media fawns all over them - they clearly have a great PR person involved. Shame its just not the truth. And not for the benefit of 95% of dogs out there that can easily become social, with a little regular work.We are extremely happy that we rarely see this type of dog trainer in the west of Melbourne or at least the parks that I visit. They are a menace and the true reason most good citizens dont visit dog parks. My dog pack are all social, travel well all together in the back of a vehicle, all restrained with harnesses on, and mix extremely well on dog parks.
Why Social dogs in dog parks are the bestOur pack see oncoming dogs that are anxious - that are either puppies, rescue dogs or dogs that have not been taken to off lead dog parks much before as wonderful opportunities to say hello. OUR PACK has to take all the risk in teaching these other dogs social behaviour. Appropriate sniffing and appropriate initiations to play or declining to play.We put dogs back on lead who might be looking like they are about to over play, but they are soon off lead when calm, because we have social dogs. This is how our parks work so well.
IN fact if anything random strangers should be paying us money for us letting their dogs walk and play with our pack, rather than have some self appointed guru rant about the dangers of dog parks for dogs that don't have 95% recall. Its just a smoke screen to protect them when their dog bites another dog.If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In the case of these special dog trainers (the aggressors) the phrase should be: if all you have is recall and discipline, every other dog is apparently a threat to you amassing wealth.
We would like to think that these kinds of dog trainers represent 5% of all dog trainers out there, but who knows? Their clients are probably generally very happy with their results, because they can't do anything with their big powerful dogs, or maybe they don't see the training methods.
We don't use other dogs for bait (they do), and bringing a big aggressive or non social dog to a dog park (as they often do), on lead or off, is completely wrong and should be illegal.Clearly its not the dog inherently at fault, but encouraging the ownership of big dogs that 95% of the public is unlikely to be able to train themselves or keep social is not in any way being social responsible.
What Dog Walkers Melbourne Believes inWe are a dog walking and pet sitting service. We believe in training, but once a dog is trained, or while it is a puppy, it should go from puppy school to social off lead dog parks, as often as you can, and in the mornings to burn off the energy, to make them happy, and to keep them social. Whether we take that task on for you, or you do it, or you have a responsible dog loving friend do it, that is 100% up to you.
However we notice that when dogs grow out of the puppy stage the vast majority of owners stop taking their dogs to dog parks, because they just find it too inconvenient to put the time in. Or maybe the council has convinced them that snakes are everywhere (but still allow private companies to put snakes in off lead dog parks), or maybe a dog trainer has sold you the convenient lie that dog parks are bad places full of unruly dogs.
We walk and live with social dogs all the time. So when we hear ranks from the 5%-ers of dog trainers just trying to drum up business for themselves and stage another PR opportunity we get sick of hearing their 'fake news'.
Train your dog, then walk your dog (daily off lead preferably in an off lead dog park), then feed your dog a meat diet.That is the secret to success of having a happy, healthy dog. Try it for a few months and see the difference.