A CORK dog trainer has called for regulation in the industry following reports of children at serious risk of animal attacks.
Canine training instructor Roy Long said he was shocked to hear a client whose young children were encouraged to stand ‘toe to toe’ with a pet showing signs of aggression in order to show distancing. ‘authority.
The Carrigaline man, who owns and runs LongLeash Canine, has advised against the forceful and controversial methods amid warnings from rogue dog trainers operating in the Cork area.
“There are cases where people are advised to fight fire with fire,” he said.
“If a dog has something they’re not supposed to have, that demonstrates what’s called resource guarding. It’s not very good for a dog in the wild to back down if someone wants that. that he has.
“They bring those instincts into our home and it’s up to us to train the dog to give up something when it needs to.”
He cited a case study as an example.
“In one home, the kids were told to go shoulder to shoulder with the dog,” he said.
“It had been recommended that the child be the alpha in this situation. When the training didn’t work, they felt there was nothing more to do. He was relocated a few months later. In a way, they were incredibly lucky to have him relocated, because if it had lasted longer, one of the children would probably have been seriously injured.
He recalled his shock at hearing the type of training methods in play.
“It was scary when I heard the ages of the kids involved,” he said. “They were encouraged to hold on when the dog growled and bared its teeth, until the dog lay down and backed up.
“He was a dog capable of causing serious damage.”
Roy explained how early intervention could have prevented the problem.
“The reality is that it was just a misunderstanding of the dog’s needs,” he said.
“They were trying to find ways to entertain themselves by jumping, biting and pawing. All he really needed was longer walks and positive reinforcement. The outdated view, however, was that the dog was trying to dominate the child and take his place among the pack. Intimidation tactics were used to make the dog back down, when all they were really doing was training the dog to bite one day.
Drastic training tactics, Roy said, are only a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
“Unfortunately, what happens in these cases are the methods that work for the owner, but they don’t work for the dog, because he basically just stops and gets scared,” he said. he declares. “All of this just plasters the issues away while the symptoms get worse underneath.
Roy often faces challenges when working with dog owners.
“Without force, that’s where we don’t use any negative correction methods,” he said. “All of the negative methods that have been used as a means of modifying a dog’s behavior in the past have been disproven by science.
“I’ve spent entire sessions discussing with owners why drastic methods aren’t necessary.”
He urged people to do research before choosing a dog trainer.
“Services like dog training have become much more in demand during the pandemic, which is why so many new businesses have sprung up overnight. There are a few well-known companies and very reputable people, with recommendations such as Snout and About and canine behavior expert Nancy Creedon.
“It’s really important that people do their research before investing in their dog. This does not only apply to dog trainers, but also to kennels and other areas of the industry.