A dog trainer's world is a very competative one. And it's SO stupid! I hate how other people's ignorance can make you almost want to dislike your own line of work, there's so many idiotic politics involved. What's the right way to train? What's the wrong way to train? What do some people consider "abusive"? Holy hell, it's ridiculous.
I randomly search on Craigslist throughout the day at work, because we're allowed to use the Internet on work time, if it's slow. I'm browsing in the pets section and answering training questions usually, because a lot of people post that they're having this or that problem with their dog and are looking for help. Since I love my job, and like helping people out, I'll give them a tidbit of free advice here and there, (since I'm not threatened by the competition - there are a ton of different ways to train a dog, and as long as people continue to get dogs and have dog-related problems, then there will always be a need for trainers). I also post publicly so that other people who may be looking for the same information will be able to find it. It's not like you can't look up a million different websites and get the same free advice anyway, so it's not like I'm doing anything wrong.
I find it hilarious that other people can post replies that criticize dog owners, calling them bad or irresponsible owners who should never have a dog, and just bring them down... those replies stay up! But anything non-biased, or that's trying to be helpful gets flagged and removed. That is such bullshit. Some people are just fucking scum.
And I know that there are a few trainers out there who are just batshit crazy and insecure, that will remove other people's advice because they feel threatened by it. I know it for a fact, since one woman I had an email correspondance with said she's seen my advice on CL before, and says it's really good stuff. "We could use someone like you here, working for our company!" she tells me. "But you'd have to sign a non-compete contract agreeing that you'd give up your own training. I've worked hard in the last so many years buliding up my company, and I don't want someone else to steal my methods!"
Ha! News flash, lady. There are no more original training methods. There are TONS of ways to train. That's how you learn - from watching many other trainers, and picking and choosing what methods you like best, and then coming up with your own style, and I like mine, thank you very much. Don't you dare tell me that you never took a training tip from Ian Dunbar, or Cesar Millan.
And that's another crazy political issue altogether!! The Cesar, Vs. non-Cesar fans. OMG, the idiocy! People tearing each other apart trying to prove that Cesar Millan is abusive in his techniques and uses dark-aged methods! I'm sorry, but I've never witnessed Cesar ever abuse an animal on his show. I will admit that I don't agree about certain people trying to use his methods, who have no idea what they're doing, because they can and will get hurt. But Cesar himself always gets results. He's rehabilitated hundreds of dogs, and that is a proven fact. Just because certain people don't agree with his methods doesn't make him a bad dog handler (he's not a trainer, as he says in his own words). Hey, I've never had any formal school training either... just 13 years of hands on experience. Does that make me any less of a trainer? Because I didn't go to CanWest or any other Dog Behavior College? Seriously, give me a damn break.
Fuck the insecure Craigslist trainers. It pisses me off that for whatever reason I'm always targeted on there. But whatever. I'll continue to just privately email the people who ask for help. I've had good feedback from owners, who were very grateful for my advice, and got results from their dogs. Word of mouth gets you more clients anyway. And one of these days, when I'm a really awesome, popular trainer and have a shitload of clients who prefer me over the other stupid batshit crazy insecure trainers out there, I will be laughing my ass off!
In other news, we had a minor mishap with our freezer at work. Seems the plug came loose from the power outlet, and most of the raw diets and bones we had thawed over the weekend. So yesterday my boss was giving away free raw food to our clients, since we can't refreeze and sell the stuff (what a loss of revenue though... sheesh). So I came home with a ton of raw liver and meaty bones, and the dogs were quite happy with that, last night.
Mojo still doesn't get the whole raw bones thing... which I just find wierd, since he's a freakin' Alaskan sled dog. But Tobi, Jango, and Penny demolished their dinner like no tomorrow. OMG, Penny (the Chihuahua) got some liver and a really meaty chunk of bone, bigger than her head, and it was gone within an hour, cartilage and all. That dog can eat "big dog" food and treats like you wouldn't believe (pig's ears, tendon, smoked bones, etc.). She puts my Rottweiler to shame. ;) Well, looks like they can enjoy another few weeks worth now, anyway. Mmmm... bones. ^^