Dog Training World Forums General Dog Training Discussion Miscellaneous How to handle leaving a DT community you no longer agree with Reply To: How to handle leaving a DT community you no longer agree with

  • Arthur Lopatin

    January 29, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    At the start of my K-9 journey, I went thru the ABC program and was certified. Since I had 0 dog/dog-training knowledge and experience and my wife and I had recently ‘adopted’ a big Malamute-GSD mix from the local shelter, even after working with a very well reputed Barbara Woodehouse style dog trainer, I needed to know more, and I was thinking of becoming a pro-dog trainer. The ABC program was a great start. Pretty good, well-organized curriculum, which I supplemented by reading a lot. And the apprenticeship with some pretty good local trainers was very useful . (I spent extra time there, after I had gotten certified to try to learn more. Among other things, they asked me to train a dog the owners had given up because another trainer told them she was ‘aggressive’ (b.s.), ‘unmanageable (b.s.). I ended up adopting Carrie. No problems. I also — here’s the part of my story that might be relevant to your situation — helped out a lot on weekends w/’aggressive’ training sessions. I handled a lot of dogs for walk-bys while my mentors worked with clients and their ‘aggressive’ ones. Afterwards, we discussed what had happened. During one of those sessions, one of my mentors told me she was not entirely happy with their way of dealing with ‘aggression,’ because it didn’t always work. (BTW, these women were good trainers operating a successful business. Good people.)

    Later, after working with Mike D. I realized why — bottom line — they didn’t fully understand what punishment is and how/when to use it. Of course they were APDT certified. Since I still had problems with my Malamute-Shep mix, I was personally looking for a better way. Fortunately, like you, I stumbled on FSDT. Even though I was still learning, it helped a lot with Samson.

    How is this all relevant to your question? Since you are at the beginning of your FSDT voyage and dog training is the way (a way?) to support yourself, why make potential problems for yourself by cancelling your APDT membership? Why not wait for it to expire and then not renew? I don’t think there’s anything to be gained by contacting them and telling them that you disagree w/their style and want your name off their list.? Why pick a fight unnecessarily?, Why create bad blood unnecessarily? Why waste your time debating the meaning of LIMA, what operant conditioning meands, etc with people who are heavily invested, psychologically and financially in what they are doing?

    For sure, as a matter of personal and professional ethics, explain — as simply and clearly as possible — what FSDT is about, especially to new clients, and without trashing purely positive or yank and crank. IMO, it’s best to simply explain your style (FSDT) w/o criticizing other other ones, especially to new clients coming to you with no baggage from previous trainers, people who just want to solve some problems and have a good life with their dog. If they do come with baggage, then you might have to explain — as positively as possible — why/how what you are going to do is gonna work for them..

    And when if/you do what I suggested, have all the info down cold so what you say comes off like water flowing down aa duck’s back,

    Bottom line: I would not terminate if I could just wait for my APDT membership to expire, just get on the FSDT path and incorporate what you are learning into what you are doing.

    I hope this helps.