Friday, 23 September 2011

Another set of questions for the press office...

Having watched last night's show it was obvious that the One Show has recognised there have been errors made and that there is now some  distancing from the initial warm welcome where Jordan was billed as a new member of the One Show family. Something that had given him great credibility and authority and trusted status to your viewers.

The Dogs Trust content was good and strong and fact-packed - although they are still not the foremost authority on dog training which may confuse the viewers into thinking they in some way regulate or collate information on this subject or indeed Dogs Trust could be a training method - Jordan seemed confused on that too! Their opinion is highly significant and Joe your vet made some good points but it all stopped short of total condemnation of having an inexperienced, unqualified person encouraging people into risky behaviour. Although the change in tone is much appreciated.

You were still lacking the voice of any qualified behaviourist. You promised debate but what we got was two pre-recorded interviews spliced together that didn't interact. Jordan seemed unaware of the very strong points the Dogs Trust were making - he didn't address any of them. Alex commented back in the studio that Jordan had learned from the criticism, but the viewer didn't see any evidence of regret or acceptance that the comments from Dogs Trust were valid.

And seeing on film what Jordan's sanctuary actually amounts to didn't instill the critical onlooker with any more confidence - which I think you hoped it would. It showed Jordan's family have a wonderful garden and that Jordan has invested in a tread mill. We didn't see any actual training. Just the owner saying how pleased she was.

It is all so insulting to all those people who have studied for degrees in behaviour - or who have worked for many years in dog training acquiring and honing their skills. To have someone randomly elevated to instant expert status by the BBC - someone who admitted on camera he has a lot to learn and doesn't yet understand why he does some of the things he does.

Chirag Patel is a case study to show that Jordan may have a future as a media dog trainer. If Chirag had been put on TV when he was starting out it would have been equally disastrous. When he was starting out he admits he used some terrible methods - then he started reading widely, going on lots of courses - spent some time working closely with his many idols around the world and learning why dogs and all animals do what they do and how to change it. He is now accepted to be a brilliant trainer and still young, vibrant and charismatic. But had you put him on TV a few years ago it would have been car crash TV. He's tooled up now - he has done every course imaginable and trained thousands of dogs - and you can't make up for all that hard graft with instinct and likability.

The burning question is will that now be an end of the "Fix the Dog" segment? You have obviously identified a tremendous need for people to gain some help with training their dogs - is it possible for you to return to this subject but with an experienced and qualified trainer?

Has Victoria Stilwell's offer to retrain Roxy using recognised and accepted methods been accepted? It would really help to put things right if you showed Victoria or indeed any experienced and respected dog trainer showing what you should do to deal with a dog who is guarding his food?

Today the Dogs Trust and the PDSA have issued new statements and the facebook pages seem to not be sufficiently relieved by what they saw on last nights show to stand down.

Can we be told if Fix the Dog will appear tonight and next week - or has it finally been dropped?

Best wishes
Beverley Cuddy
Editor, Dogs Today

4 comments:

Karen Rhodes said...

Lets hope they actually answer your questions this time instead of side-stepping the main issues. Once again you have asked the questions that everyone else wants to ask, but are still too emotionally to ask in the correct manner!

Kris Glover said...

well put Beverley and thank you for supporting all us 'qualified' behaviourists. Kristina Glover CCAB(Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist) and a full member of the APBC and APDT

Em said...

Nicely put Beverley... I won't hold my breath, but I'll keep everything crossed for a sensible response rather than another one like yesterdays. Starting to remind me of the responses from the KC after "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" where the press releases gradually changed from "there is nothing wrong" to something more palatable...

Keep up the fight :)

Kerri said...

Thank you for representing all of us so well Beverley, not just individuals but the many respected organisations we belong to. I don't really want to watch last night's segment again but didn't Joe mention that if people got the right help and advice to begin with,dogs would rarely need behavioural help? Can we suggest that instead of offering any sort of 'fixing' for dogs with problems that they run a series of 'how to get it right from the start' segments? I use my own experience and qualifications in canine behaviour and training to help dogs work through their problems every day, but often the most pleasing aspect of my work is helping people from before they even get their puppy. The lady I have just been to see is almost guaranteed to have a fantastic dog for life because I steered her away from a £150 back street breeder Lab puppy and towards a fantastically well bred, health tested Cavvie who will arrive well socialised, knowing what the clicker is and that grass is a great place to wee. They will have the house puppy proofed, all vet care, food, training and socialising all planned, children trained in advance and Mum has already read everything I have given her, absorbed it and demonstrated understanding and the puppy isn't due to be collected for another two weeks. As with teaching dogs, often the best way to help people change their behaviour is to show what they can do, rather than tell them what they shouldn't do (although the BBC has really needed that too :-)

Thanks, Kerri Bee FdSc CBT, MAPDT 00999