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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Would you have your dog put to sleep if a trainer told you to?

In my last post, I wrote about incompetent trainers who either don't know their limitations or who won't admit their limitations.

Stanley Coren writes about a dog almost loosing his life because of incompetent trainers.  A family complained that a their dog was growling at them. The family hired a force trainer who punished the dog for "growling". The more the trainer punished, the more the dog "growled." The trainer suggested euthanizing the dog.

By the time the case got to Dr Coren, it was discovered that this dog was not growling at all, but was displaying what is sometimes called a "submissive grin".  Some people call it a smile.  It has nothing at all to do with aggression.  A skilled trainer should have known that. But because this family listened to an unskilled trainer, they almost killed their dog.  And sadly this dog was punished severely for smiling.
What's really scary is that this incompetent trainer could have pushed this dog into biting when one wasn't forthcoming.

The moral of this story is that just because a trainer recommends euthanization, it doesn't meant the pet parent should do so.
See more about factors that should be considered  before euthanization here.

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