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Wikipedia defines Entertainment as: “any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie”.

And I will add to the entertainment list: TV shows on How to Train a Dog.

Sometimes entertainment is taken as “the real thing” and is brought into our everyday lives. I would not be comfortable letting a person who has watched every single episode of “House” perform surgery on me!  Would you?  Of course not.  And the reason is simple:  The television show “House” is for entertainment purposes only.  Everyone knows that, which is why “House” doesn’t have to have the disclaimer “Do not attempt these techniques without consulting a professional”.  And a professional dog trainer would rarely use those TV dog training techniques because professionals know the difference between entertainment and the true art of dog training.

Every dog owner should know the difference between suppressing an unwanted behaviour vs. training a desired behaviour. It is painfully obvious that the entertainment industry does not know that difference.  If you are a dog owner who has a dog that is “fine, except for that one problem” then please, turn off the TV and seek real life professional help.

The simplicity of dog training can be summed up:

Dogs do what works for dogs.

Teach the dog what TO DO.

Training should “feel right” both in your head and in your heart.

Newsflash:  Dogs are not out to obtain world domination! They are interested in companionship, food, comfort (both physical and mental) and procreation.  Walking in front of you, sleeping on your bed and a fun game of tug are NOT dominating behaviours for the majority of dogs.

Some things are better left to TV and have no business in real world relationships.

When training, simply:  Do no harm.  Be kind.  Be patient.  Have fun.

Jane Neve – Professional Trainer
Canine Conduct Training Solutions
Teaching the Human End of the Leash
Regional Representative for the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers
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