Just by accident I discovered we are getting a free trial of National Geographic. I have never watched The Dog Whisperer...but I have heard many people say they either LOVE him or ABSOLUTELY HATE him with a passion.
I have had almost a month of watching episode after episode...and I have NO idea if this will cause a firestorm...but I see nothing wrong with what he is doing. I find it amazing that there are people that hate him....and I mean HATE him.
I have 5 dogs, 3 working bred border collies, 1 rescue border collie (well the rescue said he was...I think not--but mom was a border collie) and a jack russell terrier. They all live in the house, I have 2 intact females currently. One currently with a litter of puppies.
My dogs go on off leash walks 2 miles a day, plus their normal work on stock or in agility. I have one neutered male (Gator) that has fear issues. But you would not know it. He has been worked and trusts me and very rarely will show this issue. He will run agility for anyone, is great in public etc...
I train positively...I use toys and treats in agility---I use correction as well. Correction seems to have become a four letter word in dog training circles. If you try to train a sheepdog on stock with no correction....you are going to have some issues...Correction is not always physical nastiness...it can be a great tool to show your dog what they are doing wrong, kind of like the hot and cold game....ya know..that dumb game you play when people say "your getting warmer! HOT, your burning up...etc etc...your cold etc etc".
I would probably rather call it "feedback"---telling your dog what they are doing that does not get them a reward. I think telling them what they are doing wrong is just as important as telling them what they are doing right!
Dogs use correction to communicate. They glare, they growl, they ignore etc etc. Why is it such a crime to talk to them in the language they understand? If a person started talking to me in French, it would take a LOT longer for them to make me understand what they wanted, than if they just talked to me in English. They need to use the form of communication that I UNDERSTAND.
DOGS ARE NOT HUMANS. I love my dogs beyond belief...I do not have children..so they are my children..however I speak to them in ways that they understand..namely NOT like humans.
My dogs respect me...they understand what I want from them and that I love them unconditionally...but that doesn't mean I won't correct them.
I honestly haven't see him be unfair to a dog on the show...he has been FAIR, and consistent...
I rarely have to correct my dogs...but I am not afraid of doing so. I encounter many people during training that have dogs that run over them and they cannot control the dogs...so they SCREAM at them. And that is apparently "better" than actually giving a small physical correction...I find that very funny. You as a handler would rather NAG the dog, than deal with it quickly and get it over with.
We have laws, we have prisons...it is enough to keep me from committing crimes!
I like him......I really really do. I think if a person was willing to watch and be open to what he is doing...I think they could learn A LOT :)