Is ignorance really Bliss?

A man wondering if ignorance is really bliss with what we don't know about the dog industry

March 7, 2022

Life has been fascinating🤓 so far, I have been through many things and made lots of choices.🎭 As I’ve grown I’ve had some shifts in my view of the world,☯ but what has caused me great sadness is that it has become apparent to me how people have lost their compassion😢 along the way and take their problems out on others😞. Some people can act downright ‘nasty’ to those who do not share the same opinions or views as  🤭  themselves. 
😎I see this often in my dog training industry, as we have very left- and right-wing views; perhaps you have heard about positive-only training 👍 (also known as fear-free or force-free based training)? Maybe you have heard about balanced training☯️? The strange thing is, I would imagine that all dog trainers would have a similar goal: improve the quality of life for the 🐾dog. This could be by educating👩‍🏫🧑‍🏫👨‍🏫 the owners on how to look after their dog’s mental, emotional and physical needs. As my 👌 slogan goes: ‘coaching both ends of the leash.
Methodologies (including tools) are more critical for the professionals🤯, not the layman. Dog trainers are seen to be in one camp💛 or another💙. The thing is that the argument of which methodology is better without first establishing a common standard creates nothing more than a debate🗣. The common joke is this: “the only thing two dog trainers can agree on is the 😅  third is wrong.”
Loyalists for each methodology will point to various features and benefits that matter to them🧐 to them to convince the opposition that they are wrong😮. They are happy to renounce or discard features and benefits that they consider unimportant. Some extremists will go to great lengths to shame😔- and tarnish other dog trainers’ reputations in public, therefore removing much of their 🤦‍♀️🤦🤦‍♂️  competition!
Have you ever heard these things said🗣: “they are cruel,” “whoever uses these tools is abusive,” “I would never do that and ruin my relationship with my dog” etc. 🤨 Here is a quote from Brené Brown that is good food for thought🤓 “In research, blame is defined as a way to discharge pain and discomfort. It is so much easier to cause pain than to feel pain. People are taking their pain and working it out on other people. And when you don’t acknowledge your vulnerability, you work your 💩sh🧻t out on other 😅 people.”
There are two ways to manipulate someone to get what you want – you can shame them or guilt them. There is a difference between the two:
😰 Shame is focused on labelling a person – usually who they are, for example ‘you are a bad student’.
🤭 Guilt is focused on what the person has done – usually this implies that they could make different decisions, for example, ‘perhaps you failed because you didn’t study enough ahead of time.’
However, the flawed assumption🧐 is ‘that only one methodology can be right’, which does the public and their dogs a disservice in the long run🤯. Life doesn’t work that way because both can be right; one methodology can be right for one person, and the other suitable for another👣. It is not a debate of which methodology (and tools) is better or worse, but rather a discussion about the different needs🙃 of the dog and its owners. 🤔But before the debate on ‘needs’ can even happen, the “why” for each dog trainer’s preferred methodology must be established first (Please refer to Simon Sinek’s – ‘Start with Why’ book).
🤷‍♀️🤷🤷‍♂️A superficial claim of ‘better’ – even with the scientific evidence to back it up – can create a desire and even motivate a decision to train with a specific trainer (their methodology) and avoid the other. This can turn out 😖to be disastrous for everyone involved, including the dog, their owners, innocent bystanders, and the community. We have to be careful about what we think we know, perhaps we should look at our biases and paradigms.
Please check out my next blog, ‘Paradigm Shifts in my dog world.

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