Is anyone else disturbed by...

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we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sat Mar 1, '08 10:40am PST 
The fact that lately, there have been several very young people on the forums claiming to have vast amounts of experience?

There was a 23 year old who claimed she had been training professionally for many, many years and another dog, with a similar name, who, according to posts is somewhere between 17 and maybe 22 who is also caliming to have years of training experience.

My fear is that people are taking these people at their word an using advise that could be detremental to dogs.

I'll willingly admit that there are people on Dogster I disagree with but still respect and I am always willing to participate in a debate with them because I feel we both learn from it.

But these people have been stubborn, narrow minded and willing to call names to feel superior and it disturbs me greatly.

Silent Observer
Barked: Sat Mar 1, '08 4:26pm PST 
I haven't been hanging around in the forums lately (but will try to find these people now that you've brought up the issue), but did just want to address the age thing.

I just turned 26 (last week! Woo!). Granted, I do have my degree under my belt and am working on another one. At 20 and 21, however, I was training at just about the same level I'm training at now. I personally was an intuitive trainer; I figured out the principles of OC at age 11 and started doing positive training at that age. I was surprised to find the techniques I was using in the various books I've read over the years. With the science behind me and my undergrad advisor's (also an intuitive trainer) tutilege and guidance I was able to swiftly hone my skills as a trainer and behaviorist.

I do, however, make sure that people know that I've technically only been able to professionally train for about seven years and use the title of behaviorist for about three.

If the people you mention are anything like some of the people I have in mind then there is a difference between "trainers" like them and trainers like me. I guess that I just wanted to give a shout-out for the younger trainers who know what they are doing and are honest about their qualifications. smile

...and, yes, people who "pad their resumes" to inflate their sense of self-worth and importance frighten me. I can think of quite a few "professionals" that do the same thing.

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sat Mar 1, '08 5:07pm PST 
Storm, I don't get a sense of negainity or hostility from you..
don't have a problem with young people and admire the fact that you all probably never made the mistakes I made because you atrted more positively than I did.

I do take issue with closeminded people who feel they are the only onrs with the correct answer when they are, in actuality, not as experienced or well rounded as they claim and can not back up what they say with eveidence.


Silent Observer
Barked: Sat Mar 1, '08 5:15pm PST 
Asher said:

Storm, I don't get a sense of negainity or hostility from you..

Aww, thanks. smile

I do take issue with closeminded people who feel they are the only onrs with the correct answer when they are, in actuality, not as experienced or well rounded as they claim and can not back up what they say with eveidence.

I agree wholeheartedly.
Vance CGC

You kids g'off- my lawn!
Barked: Sat Mar 1, '08 6:16pm PST 
What bothers me the most about it (regardless of age) is that when people like that set up the holier-than-thou aura around something like dog training, it makes Joe Average Pet Owner think they can't train their dog by them self.

I am 22, I have no formal certifications of any kind to speak of... But I have been working with trainers to various degrees since I was 12. Since I'm living in an aggression specialist's house, I'm very aware of how much I do and don't know, at the same time, all the time. The dogs I live with would be dead if they weren't in our house. I'm proud to say it, but I'm also terrified that my lack of knowledge could lead someone astray... Because in my world, when you screw up dogs die. God, I wish I were just being melodramatic.

The point is, I got where I am by paying attention and doing a bit of reading. There's nothing magical or "whisperer" about it. And while I wouldn't want my neighbor to be my single source of info on dealing with my Aussie who attacks me whenever I try to close the kennel door, he has quite successfully raised a pack of lovely Pointers he hunts with. There's no reason to hold "dog trainer" as some coveted title when really anyone can train their dog.

Anyway... It's late here and I'm very much enjoying a glass of wine, so I'm just gonna quit posting now.
Liwanu "Mack"

Must find the- wabbit!!
Barked: Sat Mar 1, '08 8:45pm PST 
I dislike when people pmail me after I've offered assistance where I first state "I am NOT a professional trainer or behaviorist. This is what I've learned from researching Mack's issues:" Then they msg me telling me about how I'm wrong when I'm simply passing on what all of you taught me and helped me with.cry

I don't think I've run into any of the dogsters you are talking about but I'll definitely keep my eyes open!

we will dance in- the ring without- words
Barked: Sun Mar 2, '08 5:01am PST 
OK, in the light of dawn, I should qualify.

I have no problem with intellegent, informed young people. Storm, I can pick up a whole lotta things about you from your posts and have drawn the conclusion that you are a college student (probably grad school) taking behavior or education related courses, have one dog you are devoted to, work with him in and out of the ring, no kids, no sig other, live on your own. I can draw enough info from your posts to let me know that if I have an issue and you give me advise, I would be wise to follow it.

Mack, You are probably fairly young (compared to me) Married (I think), dealing with issues that have caused you to seek out help and learn as much as you can to avoid having to give up a dog. If you said "Hey Ash, have you tried this?" I would probably check it out, maybe embrace it, maybe critique it intellegently without resorting to namecalling. I don't think you are too far behind me on the learning curve and also think that like me, you are still taking in information.

Mocha, Khola, Nick, I look at any advise from all of them. I would even check out advise from Natasha and Jaeger because, even though I disagree with them on many things, it is easy to see they have experience. You can tell who knows what the are doing by reading their posts.

What annoys me is when you can tell someone is young AND inexperienced yet the go to the boards and offer advise on serious issues and you can see how their advise may elevate the issues. When you point it out, they name call and, after many posts, start claiming they have trained lots of dogs and been a behaviorist.

To me, the word behaviorists would indicate you have an educational background in behavior and understand the science behind what you are doing.

Now, people may put more weight to their advise. I would never consider myself a behaviorist. I am getting certified to train, but honestly, I think the course is worth very little. I would never pretend to be a behaviorist so people will listen to me.

It's not just "padding a resume", it's pretending to be something you are not so people will consider your advise more valuable than the advise of people who truly have had more experience.

Maybe I'm still smarting from that fat comment that was directed at Asher

Silent Observer
Barked: Sun Mar 2, '08 10:27am PST 
Asher, you are lovely, well-spoken, and wise. I wish that I met more trainers like you. smile

Also, you are dead-on: I have my BS in Psychology (where I specialized in animal/canine behavior as well as human cognition) and am currently a grad student in experimental psychology where I concentrate on human cog. Storm is my little man, and we live by ourselves in our little apartment.

You and I are indeed annoyed and worried by the same things. Honestly, I handle people like the ones you mention both deftly and carefully - whether they are online or offline. I'll usually try to discuss some claim of theirs by referring back to behavioral theory ("...but what about random reinforcement schedules?"). This often leads to them digging their own hole in front of the person they were trying to impress. I don't view this as an aggressive approach (besides that, I'm really not all that imposing) - I'm simply trying to gage what they really know and let them show me that they've sat down and thought about training and behavior. Once in a while they know a bit more than the average Joe, but they'll usually self-destruct when they discover they are unable to discuss canine behavior/training with me. I had one or two people ask me to define something I brought up, and we ended up talking for a good long time. I always leave people like that with references. smile

They seem to achieve meltdown far quicker and in a far more grandiose way on Dogster.

...and what "fat" comment did you get? Boy, miss a week in the forums and you miss a lot!
Khola- CDX, CGC

R plus and- paitence what a- shocking idea
Barked: Tue Mar 4, '08 7:39am PST 
I appreciate the compliments.... and I would never ever say that I know everything. I'm sure many times I've misspoke or said something and in doing so, missed a big point. smile

I think my issue is the connotation that comes with lying. If someone is lying about their experience or their life or their dog (he's a "wolfdog" is a common one that it just used as a boost), then what scares me is that these people will lie if they are trying to assist someone with fixing a behavior. Some are easy to flush out, because if you ask why, and what methodology is behind that... you find that there is no "man behind the mirror"... and then that person gets angry. See: our most recent infestation.

If I don't know an answer to something, or I believe it not in that person's best interest for me to help them at that time.... then I will quickly direct them to one of you guys, to a professional behaviorist that needs to be in their presence, or to a personal PM. Some people say they have mounds of experience and then will attempt to answer all questions with half answers, or answers that have a cardboard backing.

Such a Happy- Girl

Barked: Fri Mar 7, '08 6:28am PST 
I get annoyed by arrogance in any way/shape/form, especially when it comes to dogs.

I think some people are very, very good at reading things and then repeating what they read without fully understanding it or being able to put it into practice. Unfortunately, someone might initially seem "with it" on the internet but in real life it might be a whole different story.
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