I’ve thought very hard over the past week since your New Westminster store made the announcement that Brad Pattison would be allowed to host a training session at Columbia Square and do a book signing. I must admit that when I first saw the posting I had no idea who Brad was. I never watched his show, read his books, or saw anything on the internet about him. I started seeing the posts flood your facebook page and I decided to become informed, after all I volunteer in Rescue and shop loyally at your store so this issue somehow would affect me.
My first place for my “research” was youtube, and I discovered this video that absolutely sickened me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab_yYY9LCqY. Canines have no concept of consequence or punishment. They do not have the capability to respond in a positive way to yelling, grabbing, pulling, hitting, kicking, etc. This video demonstrates a man (Brad Pattison) who uses his frustration and anger to bully dogs into temporary compliance due to fear. For those of us who constantly have animal welfare on the brain, we know that the best way to train a dog is through positive reinforcement. Placing a dog in a state of fear consistently will quite rapidly produce bad behaviors. A good example of this would be dog fighting rings. Do you think two positively trained dogs would be able to have that kind of aggression to one another, who were trained with love, devotion and reward? No. Bad behavior is a trained and learned technique that canines use as a coping mechanism.
So after watching a few videos my mind was fairly made up that Brad was a trainer that I would never give support to but I thought I’d give him the benefit of the doubt, until I learned about his training centers. This statement is quoted directly from bradpattison.com:
“The requirements for the BPCTE Course are simple; come with an open mind, willingness to learn and bring a dog! Other than those 3 things we will teach you what you need to know in order to educate people and train dogs effectively, so no dog training experience is required or deemed a pre-requisite for the BPCTE Course.Don’t have a dog? Past students have borrowed a friend or family member’s dog to use during the 6 weeks. We have other options for you as well – just ask! All applicants must be at least 18 years of age”.
There are a few things with his training course requirements and program that really bother me. Firstly, you can’t just become a dog trainer in 6 weeks–its impossible, and even with a certificate I would never recommend someone to bring their dog to someone who’s only been working with dogs for 6 weeks. The only thing students are required to have are “open mind, willingness to learn and a dog”..So what about Canine first aid and CPR? Why is that not a requirement? You know you will be working with dogs who have behavioral issues, anything could happen during training sessions from a dog bite, scratch, allergic reaction, etc and these people will be allowed to become certified without any prior knowledge on the canine body and how to heal and protect them? That makes me sick quite frankly. The second thing that really gets under my skin, is the fact that they suggest to bring any ol’ dog to the 6 week sessions–a friend or family member’s pet will do just fine! This is just WRONG! I would never a)give my dog to someone else to train without me being present b) have my dog taken away from me for 6 weeks c)hire a trainer who thinks a & b are okay and d) allow someone with zero training to attempt to teach my dog something!
His website goes further in stating this:
“The training is based on establishing oneself as the alpha in the “pack”. Dogs are pack animals and look for leadership, if leadership is not provided they take on the alpha role without the proper skills required to lead. This is when you start to see the dog act out in ways such as chewing, pulling on the leash, nipping or showing signs of separation anxiety. Through the use of body language, little verbal communication and no treats, the Brad Pattison Certified Trainer Educator Course is set apart from any other dog trainer course in the industry”.
I’d like to refer back to the youtube video of Brad’s use of “body language” to “train” the dog. He grabs the dog, slams the dog down and screams at the dog. This is not the sort of body language I would trust anyone, even a trained professional with 30+ years experience to do to my dog. And as far as “little verbal communication” goes, I don’t consider screaming a form of “little communication”. Rewards are also a great way to let a dog know that a)what they are doing is correct and appreciated and b)teaches them to continue doing what you’re teaching them. I’d really like to know how Brad’s techniques do either of these things without the use of rewards.
Dogs are our children, or commonly known as furbabies. When our children are in school, do we allow their teachers to spank them, scream at them, or choke them? No, and if that were to ever actually happen can you imagine the public’s reaction? Just because our dogs are animals doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated that way and it sure doesn’t mean that they are able to learn from an experience like that.
Recently telecommunications giant Bell, pulled their support from the Calgary Stampede rodeo. This proves that large companies like yourself should be more concerned with how our pets and animals are treated and be willing to step up to the plate. I fully appreciate that you allow your customers to decide between what’s best for their pet and what isn’t, however, there is a very large gap between what is right and what is simply wrong. I’d like to ask you to consider this for a moment, watch the video I linked, and ask yourselves what you think your customers will appreciate the most: a book signing from a “famous” trainer, or the satisfaction of knowing that the store they are spending thousands of dollars at every year supports animal welfare, protection, and positive training techniques. Why don’t you ask your customers who they would like to have a training day with at your store?
I’d also like to add that I have asked my 508 facebook friends to boycott Bosley’s if this store continues with Brad’s support and I know that some of my friends have said the same to their friends. I love Bosley’s. I love what they support (in most cases), I love the products they sell, I love the people that work there, and I love the customer service. I don’t appreciate that comments on the issue have been deleted off of your facebook page, and I don’t like how you have handled the situation. I know of people who have tried contacting both head office and the New West store who have basically been shrugged off or not able to speak to anyone directly. Clearly your customers are passionate on the issue and they deserve to be able to shop at a store that does not support this. I’m under the understanding that the New West store is owned independently from the head office, but they are still a franchise, are they not? I’d really like to support New West Bosley’s and I think if New West’s store and head office came together and decided what they want to support it would make customers more aware of what Bosley’s is about. If Brad Pattison does end up in columbia square I hope Bosley’s disattaches themselves from the event otherwise I will continue to ask everyone I know to boycott all of Bosley’s and I will also have to do the same.
Thank you for your time,