Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Truth In Advertising

Does anyone really expect truth in advertising?  How deep do you have to dig to find the truth?

Yesterday I saw an ad for a trainer on Craig's List that made me laugh and cry at the same time. 

In the first paragraph, this trainer equated positive reinforcement training with spending 1000's of dollars and getting no results calling them "treat trainers, clicker trainers, and self-styled "animal behaviorists"".  He tried to dis every other type of dog business in Tucson "You won't find Internet Trainer Course Graduates, Doggie Psychics, Animal Communicators, Trick Trainers with clickers and a bag of treats or New Age Alien Abductees who came back from the Mother Ship with the uncanny ability to read your dog's mind at our facility"

And then says he is certified and has attended the best schools (note the plural) in the US.

The whole flavor of this ad was "nah nah nah, I'm the best and you are mud". 

Does this person really understand what he just did?  He alienated (pun intended) at least half the population of Tucson.  I could care less what he is trying to call me and most of my friends, but what is funny and sad at the same time is that he doesn't realize that there is a great percentage of people - people who could be clients - who don't want their dog "corrected".  And he never mentions what that "correction" consists of.

The rest of the ad is his brag about what he's done with no mention of what he can do for you and your dog other then a list of services he offers that most companion animal owners could care less about.  The school he lists is a 6 week long intensive and he lists only one school after saying earlier in the ad that he attended schools plural.  Working as a caretaker for 400 wolves? What does that teach you about companion animals who are peeing and pooping in your house?  Does being a vet tech give you experience in calming a dog (without drugs) that is freaking out about the vacuum cleaner?

And when is he going to mention that he uses a shock collar to train your dog and to "fix" behavior problems? 

Not much truth in advertising here.  And he's not the only "correction" based trainer that advertises this way.  These trainers try and make others think positive training is worthless so that this is no argument from you when they start shocking your dog.  They say they are "balanced" trainers refering to the four quadrants of operant conditioning and yet most of their methods are about positive punishment and the positive reinforcement is a pat on the head or a quick "good boy". I've never seen any of these "balanced" trainers use the other two quadrants of negative punishment and reinforcement.  I've seen these "balanced" trainers correct a 3 month old puppy for not sitting in a perfect position on the second try by jerking so hard on the leash the puppy ends up face planted.  

I'll stick to cookies, TTouch, play and energy work, thank you every much.

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