The Unknowing Cruelty Of Force Free Dog Training

This post is going to ruffle a few feathers but sometimes this is a necessary evil to educate owners on the reality of training certain dogs.

Let’s set the scene of an all too familiar scenario that plays out time and time again in our line of work with difficult dogs that have more challenging genetics.

Another force free ideologue dog trainer has taken in a working line German Shepherd after multiple balanced dog trainers have done quality work with him, and within a matter of months the dog has been allowed to unravel, be medicated, and unfortunately euthanised due to nothing more than a complete lack of understanding, skill, and a refusal to use the balanced methods that are essential for the wellbeing and success for a particular animal.

The discussion about whether balanced or force free dog training is the best solution will go on and on for all of time and quite frankly it’s become utterly boring and pointless to us at this point. The reality is this, no matter what your opinions on methodology is, there is not a system of dog training that will fit every dog, you must fit the system to the dog.

There are plenty of dogs out there that you can train force free, but when you’re dealing with complex behaviours or strong purpose bred genetics, you MUST be open to utilising all the tools at your disposal if you’re looking for the long term wellbeing of the dog. Many of these force free dog trainers would soon rather medicate and euthanise a dog than they would be open to using a technique or approach that goes against their ideals.

It’s an absolute disgrace.

As trainers we love absolutely nothing more than learning new ideas and approaches that we can put into our toolbox. Whether that’s force free or balanced, we couldn’t care less. It’s all dog training and it’s all about helping owners and helping dogs.

If we had a particular dog in for training and we knew that particular dog would benefit from us licking their ears, we’d do it. It’s about the dog, not our opinions or egos.

This idea that it’s kinder to destroy a dog that would be perfectly happy with an owner who used consequence and discipline to keep them within the parameters of which they can be successful is truly appalling. If you believe euthanasia is better than consequence you’re either ignorant or belligerent.

Some dogs are unfortunately not wired correctly and no amount of training is going to fix that, and in these rare occasions yes look at euthanasia. But the amount of dogs we see on a day-to-day basis that have been miserably failed by some unbelievably untalented force free (and balanced occasionally) trainers is frightening. This industry is a joke and we should rightly be ashamed of it.

If you don’t feel comfortable or don’t have experience in balanced training methods so don’t want to use them then that’s absolutely fine. Absolutely no judgement from us at all. We all have our skillsets and preferences. But if you put your own nonsense ideology ahead of doing whats right by a dog and that decision costs them their lives at the hands of your own – you need to stay away from difficult dogs that need every possible help they can get.

Intentions don’t train dogs, training trains dogs.

The Unknowing Cruelty Of Force Free Dog TrainingThe Dogtographer

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