Saturday, August 13, 2011

Conflict: Supporting Dog Businesses

Recently a facility opened in our region for dock diving.  The owners are also affiliated with a national dog training franchise that....is very different from what I do.  It is not clearly evident that the two are related, however the same humans are associated with both businesses and it appears that the training happens at the same facility.

The business is doing a lot of clever marketing.   The event is a good way for people to "do stuff" with their dogs and compete....without necessarily having any training.  Maybe that will prompt them to look into other activities, maybe not.  But regardless, it's an increased quality of life for the dogs.  There are going to be trials RIGHT there.  Not 2-3 hours away where the other events are.  People like proximity....due to time constraints and rising gas prices.  Though, in reality, people probably just didn't know this was a type of competition available in the state.

So....what do I do?  What do I tell my 4-H'ers (who would get a discount...)?  What do I tell my students who ask?

  • Read the rules. There are a few different dock diving organizations.  Find the rule structure that best maximizes what your dog can do well.
  • Does your dog even like the water?  Like thrown toys?  I can be surprised at those who don't have water-liking dogs and want to do this.   Thrown toys aren't required, but to get your dog jumping maximum distances....it's important.
  • Of my own dogs... Luna doesn't like water enough. I wouldn't be able to get Blaze out.   And I don't now what Griffin would do.  I don't know that I want him learning to jump, he currently wades into ponds....which is preferable for a retriever.  If he did a wild leap into the water, he could land on something sharp below the surface.   I don't know if having him learn to do dock diving would change his water entry in 'real' ponds.   I don't know that it's worth the risk. We have enough other things we enjoy.
  • I probably won't be discussing this with my 4-H'ers.... It's just not something I'm comfortable with at this time. 

This brought up the conversation with a training friend....how is this different than entering a trial and supporting a 'traditional' club?   I know with trials about how much  money is going to the organization and how much is going to the club.   A club is somewhat different than a privately owned business...while the club gets the money (and some of them have a lot of money over time), it's not going to the individual/s associated with the facility.  There are clubs where I do not trial because I am not comfortable supporting the club financially.*

*Due to some of the rule structures in place/behavior towards people.  It's not about the type of training that is or is not happening.

3 comments:

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

I personally want to support the growth of my sport. At least with agility and dock diving you really have to use positive methods to teach it, regardless of how they teach obedience.

But I especially want to support obedience trials since it is a dying sport. And since all but one club/school is traditional it would mean that I would never get to compete anywhere. The only way to change the methods used at those clubs is to show what positive trained dogs do. Since most positive trainers never step foot into an obedience ring we're not exactly changing traditional trainer's minds about us. The proof is in the pudding.

Kristen said...

I guess I should clarify that the two clubs where I don't attend trials....it's more about the behavior towards humans (by some...not all of the group!) that upsets me than the treatment to the dogs. I don't mind going to "traditional" group events or even classes. I just don't like seeing people being treated poorly!

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

That makes sense. There are clubs I won't volunteer for because of that and others that I can't wait to volunteer for!