Agree to Disagree – Whole Dog Journal

There’s an outdated joke about canine trainers: What’s the one factor you may get two canine trainers to agree about? That the third one is doing it incorrect!

I might submit that it’s not simply canine trainers who usually have sturdy opinions about the appropriate and incorrect methods to do issues with canines. And I feel you would need to agree, particularly when you have ever entered right into a dialogue about, say, grain-free canine meals, uncooked diets, Flexi leashes, electrical shock collars, fats canines, canines with lengthy toenails, canines who bark, ear- and tail-cropping . . . I may preserve going however you get the concept. There are so many hot-button points within the canine world that it’s virtually not possible to speak about something to do with canines (apart from how cute they’re) with out getting right into a heated argument.

As I write this – the very last thing that should get executed with a purpose to ship this situation to the printer – a web-based hurricane has damaged out concerning an essay revealed within the New York Times by Alexandra Horowitz, PhD., famend e-book creator and head of the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College at Columbia University, in New York City. Horowitz posits that the follow of widespread, reflexive spay/neuter practices on this nation shouldn’t be customary coverage, as they irretrievably alter our canines’ well being, habits, and personalities. She makes some good factors! Even I, a long-time shelter volunteer who’s strongly in favor of the usual follow of de-sexing all shelter animals earlier than they’re adopted, recognize and agree with most of the anti-spay/neuter proposals she makes within the article. And but, already, by noon on the West Coast, I’ve seen waves of scorching phrases and “unfriending” sprees in on-line boards and social media as Horowitz’s piece is being shared, mentioned, and argued about.

Here’s an concept: Let’s agree that a couple of factor will be “right” on the similar time. Let’s freely acknowledge that canines will be educated “properly” with totally different strategies and that they’ll eat a number of totally different diets (even actually dangerous ones!) with out shortening their lives. Let’s go as far as to suggest that what’s “best” for shelter canines in my rural county – one greatest identified for its excessive poverty and low schooling ranges – shouldn’t be thought of greatest for canines bought from good breeders and raised in prosperous suburbs and concrete areas.

Blanket judgments and one-size-fits-all suggestions don’t serve canines (or their house owners) very nicely. There are simply too many various kinds of canines and broadly divergent attitudes in regards to the place of the canine in society. I suggest that we attempt to study from each other, educate those that ask for schooling, make unbiased choices concerning our personal canines’ welfare, and attempt to get together with buddies and strangers in addition to we anticipate our canines to.

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