Saturday, March 16, 2013

Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART ONE

by Dino Dogan

Lets starts with two basic assumptions.

  1. There is more information now on human-dog relationship then ever before and its easier to access then ever. Most of the information is free.
  2. Despite all this, human-dog relationship has never been in a worse predicament. For many dogs/owner pairs, the living situation is equivalent to a war zone resulting in dogs being sent to a shelter and later executed.
Why is there such inverse relationship between abundant information and abysmal state of affairs between dogs and humans?

I will argue that there are 3 reasons:
  1. Dog professionals (by that I mean dog trainers, TV personalities, authors, etc) are unable to relate certain type of information to their clients (dog owners and consumers of such information). Not because they (dog professionals) don’t want to but because they can’t. And not because they don’t know it but because they don’t see it.

    The second reason is…
  2. The nature of modern human existence is such that it doesn’t suit humans, much less dogs. We live contrary to our evolutionary code. 10 thousand years of agricultural and then industrial revolution is not enough time to change our underlying psychobiology.

    And third and perhaps the most important...
  3. The nature of human condition.

    We cant blame dog professionals for trying to train us and failing. And we cant blame our environment either. We must take responsability and bring certain necesary attributes to the table. Attributes like compassion, understanding and love.  We will talk about these attributes later. For now...

Lets examine why Dog Trainers are unable to relate fundamental principles that they themselves use when dealing with dogs.

There are 4 things I’ve been able to identify that dog professionals have but don’t teach nor share with general public, and yet, these fundamental principles are key to their success.

But first, how come they are not sharing this info?

If you wanted to learn how to swim, I think you could NOT pick a better teacher then a fish. A fish could teach you how to swim your ass off.

Its effective in water, it has mastered the techniques necessary to move through water, it has all the attributes we need to emulate in order for us to be strong swimmers as well.


Don’t ask a fish to teach you how to breathe under water; cuz fish don’t know.

Dog professionals are exactly the same as fish.

They can teach you techniques but you will not necessarily replicate their success and be able to “breathe under water”.

I think most people know this to be true from first hand experience.

I am sure you’ve read books, watched TV shows or DVDs, paid dog trainers to come to your house and train you…and yet, you were unable to breathe underwater on your own. You were not able to replicate their success and in fact, you may have made things worse. Why?

In PART TWO, we will examine those 4 fundamental principles used by dog professionals that are NOT taught to dog owners, and yet, dog professionals apply them without thinking.

Does anyone want to take a stab at what those 4 principles are before I post them? No peeking :-)


Dino Dogan is a blogger, writer, biker, dog trainer, singer/songwriter, Martial Artist. Dino is now busy with his DIY Blogger Net blog. He is also behind the great social media tool, Triberr. Hopefully one day he'll return to dog blogging. Meanwhile, you can connect with Dino on Twitter or Facebook.

1 comment

  1. We are about to embark on a training effort with a new trainer, so I'm really looking forward to those 4 principles. I think I get your concept though, there are just some skills that some people are better at than others - and having an affinity with dogs is a skill that not all can master.