Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A message from Jordan Shelley

I wanted to say a very big thank you to all the lovely people who have made me such fantastic offers. I am kindly declining all the offers of free places on courses and to seminars as I am sure there are many more deserving people out there and I urge you all to pass these offers on to them, that being said I still hope to see you at many of these different events. I will be taking up as many of the offers to observe and talk to all the wonderful trainers that have got in touch, I am looking forward to meeting you all.  

I am delving into the world of positive reinforcement with an open mind and I hope you can help me improve the way I train.

Thanks once again,

Jordan Shelley

I added this post late last night in haste with just a copy and paste. I spoke to Jordan earlier in the day, too.  I think some people are misinterpreting his words. He is not saying that he won't go on the free courses offered, but that those he goes on he will pay his way - as there are others more deserving of a free place than him.

His first look-see is on Monday and I think it is a great idea for him to have a look how others work with difficult cases. Be really interested to hear how he gets on.

Can I also add a big thank you to everyone who has offered Jordan help via this blog. I do hope he gets stuck in and puts this episode behind him.

I do think the clumsy BBC complaints letter has opened up old wounds, but remember Jordan didn't write that!

Today is world rabies day

When you say rabies I don't automatically think of Leona Lewis, but bless her, she has volunteered to be the face of the WSPA campaign. Here's more from WSPA...

Annually, more than 55,000 people around the world die from rabies and up to 20 million dogs are needlessly and cruelly killed, often in misguided attempts to control the disease. 
WSPA is calling on governments worldwide to tackle rabies through the only humane and effective solution: mass vaccination of dogs. WSPA is launching its Red Collar campaign with a project in Bangladesh, supporting the national government to implement a large scale vaccination campaign in Cox’s Bazar, which will save thousands of dogs in its first year alone and pave the way for a nation-wide vaccination campaign.

Ray Mitchell, International Campaigns Director, WSPA said: "Rabies poses a serious threat to both human and animal populations. When confronted with the problem of this fast-spreading disease, national governments sometimes turn to what they believe is the only way to wipe out rabies: wipe out the dog population. But with successful rabies control projects in countries across Asia and Latin America, WSPA has proven that a world without rabies is not a world without dogs.”

WSPA supporter Leona Lewis added: “I think it’s absolutely horrific that 20 million dogs are killed every year because of the fear of rabies when there is an alternative solution. I really want to help WSPA to spread the word worldwide and end the cruelty that is happening at the moment. By educating people and getting vaccinations out there, we’re not only helping dogs, but entire communities.”
Prof. Be-Nazir Ahmed, Director of Disease Control, Bangladesh Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said: “We look forward to working with WSPA. We will proceed in a united way to eliminate rabies without the need to cull dogs.”
WSPA’s solution involves teams of trained animal handlers to locate, catch and inoculate dogs against rabies, before giving them a red collar to show they have been vaccinated. These red-collared dogs become a visible symbol of the proactive measures being taken to protect communities from rabies without resorting to cruel methods of killing dogs.

Tourist hot spot Bali is a prime example of the success of WSPA’s cruelty free approach to rabies control. Last year, WSPA funded Bali’s first island-wide mass vaccination programme, which saw approximately 210,000 dogs vaccinated. In the first six months, the project saw a decrease of over 45% in cases of canine rabies, and a reduction of 48% in rabies related human deaths in comparison to the same period in the previous year. WSPA is now working with several governments across the world to implement similar models.
Ray said: “With our work in Bali, we offered proof that a humane alternative for rabies control was both practical and effective. Other governments are beginning to recognise this success, and we are now working in several countries to design similar models for rabies control. With the increasing support we are receiving from governments, international agencies and inter-governmental bodies, WSPA is confident of creating a world where we see collars, not cruelty, winning the fight against rabies.”

Find out more about the Red Collar campaign at

Monday, 26 September 2011

Could you show Jordan Shelley another way?

When I heard that Jordan Shelley wanted to speak to me I admit my heart sank. His world must have turned upside down in the last week. Would he blame me for helping to burst the balloon?
But he wasn't ringing up to complain, far from it.
He'd read my latest blog and he wanted to take me up on the offer of being shown other ways training. I say all credit to him for picking himself up and using this unfortunate experience as a positive opportunity to learn and make some new friends.
"Because it is all about the dogs," he explained.
So good behaviour folk, where to start?
I had thought that the media storm would have passed now, but it seems photographers are still hiding in Jordan's bushes and reporters still knocking on his door.
One way or another Jordan's name has become famous and he seemed remarkably philosophiocal about the experience. He regrets not getting more control of the edit and not having it badged 'don't try this at home'. A lot of the shots were out of sequence. Roxy is fine he wanted me to know.
But I don't think there are many 21 year old's who would be so positive after the week he's had, he honestly sounds really excited about meeting new people and widening his knowledge.
Come on dog world, prove me right that you are lovely people and don't just give lip-service to positive and reward based training - click and treat Jordan for asking for your help.
Email me and I'll pass them on.

Friday, 23 September 2011

The end of an unforunate era

I've just had the email from the BBC press office in reply to my questions...

Short and very sweet...

"The One Show has thanked viewers for all their comments and criticisms which were taken very seriously. Last night the show featured various differing opinions plus advice from The One Show's vet on the subject of dog training and care.

"There are currently no plans for this feature to return."

We have two open questions currently running on Think Tank inspired by this One Show episode and we'd be very grateful for your input as it's obvious that these are questions people (and the BBC!) need help on:

What to ask to make sure your trainer knows what that are doing: Click here

What you really should do if your dog is resource guarding: Click here

What was impressive was how dog world reacted and it was remarkable and inspiring how everyone from every field worked together. 

Let's hope Jordan takes all this on the chin, listens to the criticisms and takes them all on board. I've heard lots of offers from good people who'd like to take him under their wing, doggie folk are a big-hearted lot and I'm sure he could be a great dog trainer if he studies hard and keeps learning.

Polite note:
And world, if you're planning a doggie-related crisis in the future would you mind avoiding our deadline week next time? 

Plus, a statement that I missed including in the rush:

“The CAPBT was very disappointed with the BBC’s decision to have dogs with behaviour and training issues treated as a form of entertainment.  Especially as in the past they have exposed bad practises in the dog breeding and showing world.  The methods used on The One Show were decades out of date.   Science has proved these methods no longer work.  There is no such thing as ‘being cruel to be kind’ only ‘being cruel to be cruel’.   CAPBT works on the emotions of the dogs and members only use kind and positive methods.  Examples of our cases can be read each month in Dogs Today.”


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

Thursday, 22 September 2011

We ask the press office some difficult questions and they answer (some)...

... what they said was going to be in last night's show and what actually ran.... and some new statements from charities...

I emailed the press officer who gave us the last comment some further questions. I am holding over our editorial deadline as this is a breaking story and I can't let my editorial go to press with this issue still unresolved. Here's what I asked...
We obviously saw the instruction on last night's show to consult an experienced dog trainer before trying Jordan's methods at home. But it begs the question, why are you using an inexperienced trainer on your show when you advise others to be more careful?
There are so many qualified and experienced trainers you could have chosen.
It has also been pointed out that Wobbly Dog Productions lists two directors at Company House. Brian Klein (famously the director of BBC Top Gear) and a 21 year old called Jordan Shelley.
Can you confirm that this is the same Jordan Shelley? Extensive research has revealed only the briefest of sightings of Jordan in a dog context. We are told (unconfirmed) that he has done some fostering of dogs but had to hand two dogs back because he could not cope with them. How carefully was his experience checked before putting on air and exposing the British public to his methods. And how did he come to the attention of the BBC?
Also, has the programme considered the very generous offer of Victoria Stilwell (presenter of It's Me or the Dog) to fly over from New York at her own expense to properly train Roxy as she is now very, very afraid for the family's safety.
Plus, with a now on-going investigation by the RSPCA into last week's show are you still sticking by the thread you have pre-filmed with Jordan Shelly?
We have catalogued forceful complaints from every major dog welfare charity and organisation (For eg The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, Dogs Trust, Blue Cross, Wood Green, RSPCA and the Kennel Club.)
Also we have collected complaints from  every high-profile dog trainer - many involved in other TV shows - It's me of the Dog, Dog Borstal, The Underdogs etc. Dog trainers from every aspect of dog training - not just one technique - the dog world is united on this.
We are still awaiting comment from Cesar Millan who is being advised about his name being associated with this very dangerous piece of television.
The two facebook pages calling for Jordan to be removed now have more than 2,000 likes in only a couple of days and your own facebook page is quite obviously under siege.
We know of a dog being put into rescue after the owner tried Jordan's method at home and another where a child was bitten and the dog put to sleep.
The 'don't try this at home' message obviously came too late for both these dogs.

So in short, considering all the above - is the BBC still continuing to stand by their unqualified and inexperienced 21 year old self-taught dog 'expert'. And is he in any way related (business wise or otherwise) to a key BBC employee?

Many thanks
Beverley Cuddy
Editor - Dogs Today

I've had a email back to say they are working on their reply. In the meantime the following has appeared on the One Show Facebook page.

 Thank you to everyone who has shared their opinion on Friday's 'Fix My Dog' feature. We have been looking at all your posts and very much value your comments. We're hoping to debate this further on the show. More news on this topic when we have it!

I don't think a debate will sort it. I can't see anyone defending what Jordan did apart from the BBC press office!

And here's the reply to my questions - well some of the questions....!

Many thanks for your email, below is our response to your questions. We
do also urge you to watch the show tonight.

OntheBox a production company owned by Brian Klein who regularly works
with the BBC was contracted for the item by The One Show.  The One Show
had not entered into any agreements with Wobbly Dog Productions - which
we understand has only been set up for the past four months and has
never made any transmitted programmes.

Jordan Shelley is largely self-taught and has gained years of experience
in the welfare and care of dogs in the UK and abroad. Jordan works with
fostered dogs that might otherwise have been put down at his privately
run dog sanctuary, based at his home in north London. We will be
documenting that tonight and will clarify that he works with the dogs
brought to him.

We will be featuring other independent advice and opinions on dog
training in the programme tonight.

We have been in communication with the RSPCA and are engaging fully with
any enquiries. It has been made clear on the show that viewers shouldn't
try any techniques from the programme without seeking the advice of a

Kind regards
The BBC Press Office

We've heard that vet Joe Inglis (@Joethevet on Twitter) will be on the couch tonight and there will be a short film of Catherine Gillie from Dogs Trust.  But a debate is not what is needed here. What is needed is for the One Show to do their research before they appoint an expert to tell the British public how to train dogs.
This should so obviously be a qualified and experienced person to show people how to train their dogs safely of whom there are hundreds probably thousands more appropriate to choose from!
How can someone at 21 have 'years' of experience. And I asked further questions and 'the sanctuary' isn't licensed or run as a business. The dogs are fostered - in that, they explained, he takes them in to his home and then gives them back to the families.
And this segment was offered by Brian Klein's production company with Jordan already in place? I asked how Jordan came to Brian's attention as seemingly no one in the dog world had ever heard of him before and was told through Jordan's fostering work. Which he does from his home in North London.
No wonder the BBC are in no hurry to drop this item! It would seem the appointment of an unqualified, inexperienced unknown dog trainer is becoming more understandable by the minute!
Let's recap - an unqualified, inexperienced dog 'expert' being investigated by the RSPCA, complained about by every credible organisation and charity - a man that encouraged the general public to approach snarling dogs with their feet gets the full support and protection of the BBC press office
I asked the direct question - is Jordan Shelley's slot continuing?
I was told - he's on the show tonight.
The implication being that they'll decide after tonight's show airs.
I asked about Victoria Stilwell's offer and was told it wasn't in my question... I read it back to them and they thought she was offering the family not the programme... how confusing? Either way had they passed it on, seems not.
I reiterated Victoria would like her very kind offer considered.
So who have the BBC considered to be the independent behaviour experts who will be debating Jordan's ability tonight? The APBC? A lecturer perhaps, from a university that offers 'qualifications'?
No one I can identify so far, perhaps it's a secret.
Dogs Trust are on a pre-record. @Joethevet says he's on the sofa but the press office didn't think he was but they sounded slightly despairing that there were lots of things they didn't have answers for. But they couldn't tell me any of the other names either as it was all still being edited. Turns out there was no one else - just the ones we knew about already.
The press office said we'd talk again tomorrow (now today).
I don't think anyone is going to be happy unless the BBC drop this segment. Let's encourage undeniably charismatic Jordan to actually take some qualifications and go on a few courses and in a few years, who knows, he may make a really great dog trainer.
But at the moment he's in been put in the spotlight too soon and it's not just his trousers that are fashionably at half mast... at the moment he's hideously exposed for not having the skills or the training or indeed the judgment to tell Britain what to do with their dogs.
Thank you to poster who left this as a comment:
"According to the record at Companies House, both Jordan Shelley and Brian Klein became Directors at Wobbly Dog on 5 November 2010 (perhaps a prophetic date, given the ensuing fireworks!). Perhaps the BBC researchers need training in basic web skills, as well as dog behaviour studies, as this information is readily available through Google: I cannot see that the fact that the item comes from sister company On The Box makes any difference at all - the bottom line is that the BBC has accepted and presented this young man as an expert, without undertaking any due diligence to establish his qualifications for the title."


Here's a link to last night's one show - 10 mins in....

And just added at the bottom new post-show Dogs Trust statement....

Commentary on last night's One Show:
Catherine Gillie from Dogs Trust making perfect sense but edited around some very glamorous shots of Jordan at home in his 'sanctuary' in his back garden. It all made little sense to be honest. They tries to edit back a case history about a dog that Jordan fostered - but it was all so brief you saw a dog arrive, be put in a run with some other dogs and put on a treadmill as a cure for something or other... yes, more muscles, great idea. And Catherine saying  in effect no, never do what was done on film under any circumstances.
Jordan seemingly thinking the VT wasn't saying anything personally about what he did the week before but was saying reward is better than dominance says he likes the Dogs Trust and that he respects them, and rates their 'methods' like he likes cheese sometimes but most days he prefers steak.
But we all saw Dogs Trust saying what Jordan did was dangerous and ineffective.
Perhaps nobody had the heart to tell him - but we got no reaction.
No moment of realisation that it was he who did the thing everyone is upset about and that he might be just a little out of his depth.
Matt claimed Jordan had learned from the criticisms but I couldn't read that in his body language.
And in the VT after five weeks a very grateful owner picks up her dog and says how fantastic Jordan is. And later leaves the dog with Jordan again when she goes on holiday, so he must be a really great trainer.
We don't see the before or the after or how he achieves whatever it was he was doing - but we are told it is achieved using reward-based training so that obviously makes everything okay.
But that stuff he was doing in show one, that wasn't another flavour of dog training. That was just bad.
Back in the studio things felt tense. Matt Baker genuinely seemed mortified. Joe Inglis the One Show vet had an uncharacteristic tremour in his voice.
Jordan was publicly cast out of the One Show family. No longer the One Show's dog trainer - now just someone they were following - but why? Joe says very accurately that, sadly anyone can call themselves a dog trainer.
Well precisely.
Will that be the end of saga?
Jordan achieved something in his short media career - he united every faction in the dog world. It's an accolade of sorts.
We await further news.

Dogs Trust have just issued a new statement:
Dogs Trust statement on the training methods of Jordan Shelley as featured on The One Show- 22 September 2011

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity appreciated the right-to-reply opportunity provided by the BBC after the training methods of Jordan Shelley were featured on The One Show on Friday 16th and 22nd September.

However, we remain deeply concerned by the training methods used by Jordan Shelley. The main issues we have are:

  • A dog with such aggression and fear issues should never, ever have had food taken away by members of the family. There was no regard for the safety of the family - using methods like this will only cause the dog to suppress the behaviour and there is a strong possibility that, when the opportunity arises, he will revert to the aggression.
  • There was no consideration for the dog's emotional state and the motivation behind the behaviour - until these are redressed then you can never consider the behaviour to be resolved.
  • Any other pet dog owner attempting these methods could put themselves and their families at risk of serious dog bites.

We continue to recommend that dog owners do not replicate the techniques used by Jordan Shelley at home and are pleased that The One Show warned viewers against this also; doing so could endanger both them and their dog. Instead they should seek a dog trainer who uses positive, reward-based techniques.

We would urge the BBC to seriously consider seeking and researching alternative advice on dog training for their viewers going forward.

Hannah Baker
Dogs Trust Press Office

PDSA statement on Jordan Shelley training techniques featured on The One Show

PDSA Senior Vet, Sean Wensley, says: “Whilst highlighting the issues surrounding problem behaviour in dogs should be viewed as a positive step, in this particular case, it was a shame that the techniques used were not the most effective or humane, and could potentially endanger human safety.
“Problem behaviour in dogs is an issue that, without question, needs addressing for the safety and wellbeing of dogs and people. The groundbreaking PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report, published earlier this year, reveals that 165,000 dogs show aggression to people on a weekly basis.  This level is unacceptable, and is linked to the abandonment and euthanasia of thousands of dogs each year through no fault of their own.
“In order to improve such behaviour, PDSA only recommends the use of reward-based training techniques carried out by fully qualified and accredited pet behaviourists. By using the correct techniques, most problem behaviour can be overcome.
“Identifying the underlying reason for problem behaviour should always be the first consideration. The primary reason is often a lack of socialisation and training during puppyhood, but other issues such as separation anxiety, boredom or inappropriate training techniques can all contribute to behavioural issues. The PAW Report has shown that 4.1 million dogs never went to training classes within their first six months of life and 25% of owners who had their dog as a puppy did not adequately socialise them.
 “As a leader in promoting pet health and welfare, PDSA is urging owners who may have concerns about their pets’ behaviour to seek professional advice before the problem gets out of hand. In most cases, this should start with a trip to their local veterinary practice to rule out any possible underlying medical causes. For anyone with a young dog, they should, without exception, make a commitment to socialising their pet and training them properly. It’s up to owners to make sure that they provide the correct support for their dogs to prevent them from feeling anxious, scared or being aggressive towards others.”
 "I would like to express my concern about what I saw on The One Show last Friday.
"I am the
National Post Home Support Officer, Greyhound Rescue West of England - and  qualified in behaviour work with dogs.
"Jordan Shelley is unqualified. He intimidated the small terrier into co-operating but he taught it nothing. If he had done that with alarger dog like a rottweiller it could have hurt him badly, people who copy him may get dangerously hurt. The BBC should be more responsible. Both Jordan and Caesar Milan are not properly qualified, they have not studied research into dog behaviour and are watchable rather than accurate. I am disappointed in the BBC's response to criticism from charities like Dogs Trust. Your response is to say people like it and are booking their dogs in with him. This doesn't mean he is good. You could show someone offering under age sex on the show and there would be plenty of punters but it wouldn't be morally right. Showing Jordan Shelly intimidating a dog with his foot isn't morally right."

Carol Baby
National Post Homing Support Officer
Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE)

Saturday, 17 September 2011

The One Show - foot in mouth?


First fatality? First of many?
Via the One Show facebook page:
Karen Rhodes
Congratulations The One Show and the BBC! I have just come back from the vets to pick up medicated shampoo for my dog. A lady has just had her dog put to sleep due to copying what she saw on this show last Friday! The dog had never snarled or bitten, but she has a Grandchild and the dog grumbled a couple of weeks ago when her husband walked past it whilst it was a chewing a bone. They tried the method Saturday, the dog bit her Grandchild last night, thankfully it was not bad but they felt they couldn't trust the dog. There was no food involved. That is one dog you have murdered, one child you have hurt and one elderly couple that now feel they could never have a dog. How many more will there be?

RSPCA Statement in response to The One Show feature on dog behaviour – 21.9.11

We are investigating several complaints received following an item featured on The One Show on Friday, 16 September. However, because that investigation is now active we cannot comment further on this specific instance.

The RSPCA only recommends reward based training methods. A number of scientific studies have found an association between the use of aversive training techniques and the occurrence of undesired behaviours in dogs. As such, they may worsen the behavioural problems they aim to address.

Anyone who wishes to find a suitable dog behaviour expert can find out more at with further information on training techniques available at

 STOP PRESS: Victoria Stilwell offers to fly in to put Roxy back together.

We alerted Victoria Stilwell - of It's Me and the Dog fame - and her response has just been posted on her facebook page:
"It doesn't surprise me that the BBC One Show execs are standing by their trainer Jordan Shelley who showed such irresponsible and dangerous techniques in order to curb a dog's foodbowl aggression. It shows that there is still so much ignorance when it comes to truly understanding and teaching dogs. The BBC pulled out of Crufts for breeding cruelty but yet they permit these inhumane techniques on their channel. Please to the general public - do not watch this man because you try his techniques at home, you WILL get bitten. Disgraceful.

"I'm worried now that the family is in danger of getting bitten by their JR after the abusive techniques that were used by Jordan shelley on the BBC's One Show and if so the JR will get put down. If anyone knows who the family is, please tell them that I will come over to England free of charge and teach them how to stop their dog guarding in a humane and beautifully effective way. No point in just complaining, I want to save this dog and this family. Please send this to everyone you know."

Did you see BBC1's The One Show on Friday? Specifically the feature on Roxy the Jack Russell that was protecting her food bowl, her mistress's bed, chewing up the post etc?
Did you see the very young, attractive Cesar Millan fan Jordan Shelley?
Here's a link to BBC iPlayer if you missed it or need to see it again.
You need to go to about 30 minutes in - just after Freddie Mercury's mum and sister:
If you are unable to view on iplayer here is a link to a blog that has a clip
What is your reaction?
I'm about to write my editorial for next month and I'd really like to hear some feedback from others.
Has anyone tried this at home with their aggressive dog?
How did you get on, if so?
(If you're thinking of doing it, can I urge you not to and recommend you first seek advice from a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors or the APDT or another reputable positive trainer.).
Have you written, phoned or emailed the show?
Any dog experts read that dog's body language and tell me what you see?
How would you have tackled this problem had the TV called you?
Can we find an equally attractive and charismatic - young yet experienced and qualified dog trainers to take over this spot on The One Show?
Here's my suggestions which appear to tick every feel free to nominate others.

Karen Wild
Chirag Patel
Steve Mann
Mat Ward

I am looking for case studies - people who watched the show and have tried this method on their own dog. Have a sighting of a Staffie who took the adult's boot off. Any others?

Here's the Press statement (received Tuesday afternoon - Sept 20th)... please don't read when drinking hot coffee please... you may need to sit down.
"We appreciate that many dog lovers have strong opinions on the subject of dog training, however the family with the problem dog Roxy are extremely happy with the outcome. Jordan Shelley, who runs a dog treatment centre in London, will display other techniques
in future films.
Jordan himself will also be putting out a line talking about his approach and why he employed the technique in the programme, it may be an hour or so and I'll call you with that.

I will also call you now to give you a bit of background
BBC Comedy and Entertainment"

Just come off the phone with the press officer and they are really delighted with Jordan as they have had more than 500 people ask for his help. No plans to take this segment off air. I pointed out that of course people will be keen to try what is portrayed as a quick-fix and that is in itself the problem - making it look like you can sort out complex behaviour problems by just throwing your weight around. ("But it wasn't a quick-fix, he spent three hours with them.")
As you all know it would take months to properly solve this problem. And that technique on a medium to large dog would be spectacularly dangerous.
It was positioned by the press office as there are just two ways of doing things and all this fuss is just people who don't like dominance training methods kicking off.
But surely even Cesar Millan would not now be doing this sort of thing - he has evolved sufficiently for this not to be his first approach to a dog resource guarding? And his TV series would certainly badge his more extreme stuff as something that should never be tried at home!
This Jack Russell segment, I was told, was recorded six weeks ago and the family are apparently delighted. But as many have said - Jordan's just taught a dog not to warn when he's unhappy. A dog that no longer warns is far more dangerous.
Jordan, they told me when I asked for qualifications, is self-taught and runs the Sanctuary in London. Well that may explain it, the Sanctuary do great massages and beauty treatments but I wouldn't ask them to train my dog. Anyone heard of this organisation? How long has it been trading? Anyone know any customers?
It seems to me the BBC have dismissed all the complaints so far as being from just one half of the dog training world and that the other half think his methods are great - despite not receiving any fan mail from any training organisations.
But I disagree. I see the unification of the dog welfare world - not a jealous and petty faction. Everyone thought it was dangerous and harrowing and something that definitely shouldn't be shown on TV.
It's like someone watching Holby City and then going on This Morning as an expert and telling everyone how to take out their own appendix. Only slightly worse somehow - as you'd not get 500 people volunteering the next day to be the guinea pig for DIY nose jobs!
This is not a dominance versus reward-based petty spat.
This is a BBC show that on one front exposes cowboys and on the other gives Billy the Kid a national platform.

Jordan Shelley has issued a statement:
"As I said on The One Show, I respect and practice both reward based and dominance techniques and I use a mixture of both, depending upon the specific dog and its problems. Safety comes first in all my training and I would never approve of causing distress to any dog. The family were present for the entire filming and subsequently I have visited them on a couple of occasions and they say they are delighted with the improvement in Roxy's behaviour." 
Comments please on this comment and please say in your comment your qualifications, affiliations and the length of your experience training dogs if - that is - you define yourself as a dog trainer. If posting as a self-taught, which is obviously good enough for the BBC, also please say. How would you have dealt with this case and how many follow-up visits would you want to make for you to feel sure this dog's serious problems were resolved? Did Jordan's actions cause this dog distress in your opinion? Did he use a mixture of reward and dominance in this case? Did he use either 'technique'? What would Cesar Millan have done if that was who he was trying to emulate? Can we get Cesar to comment? And what element of safety was deployed in the 'training' of this dog.

This evening some concerned dog owners have started TWO facebook pages to register their wish for the Dog Fixer to be removed from The One Show. Do go and Like the page if you agree. Here's a link - if you haven't yet joined facebook this maybe your reason to!  and When I looked they were already close to 500 likes combined in just a couple of hours. You can also find the page just by searching "Get Jordan Shelley off BBC One Show". United the dog world can achieve so much.

And the Daily Mail have joined in too:

Qualified and experienced dog behaviourist Murial Brasseur is on BBC Radio Oxfordshire at 12.15 today talking about this subject - do tune in and indeed phone in!

There's also now a petition:

Why not ask your favourite charity or organisation to get involved. Have they already complained? Please ask them to forward a statement for inclusion here:

Here's the latest ones:

"It is a great shame that the BBC have chosen to engage an unqualified  and inexperienced young person to give advice about dog behaviour on the 'One Show'. There have been great steps forward in recent years in the  development of appropriate standards of both qualification and  experience in animal training and behaviour modification, for example with the setting up of the Animal Behaviour and Training Council. There have also been considerable developments in scientific knowledge and  understanding of why dogs show undesired behaviours, leading to widespread consensus about how such behaviours should be addressed for both long term efficacy and optimal welfare. The advice given on the One Show did not reflect either current knowledge or practice - the material presented was incorrect with respect to interpretation of the dog's  behaviour, and the techniques used were outdated and clearly caused the  dog considerable distress. Whilst it may appear to 'cure' behaviour instantly for the purposes of entertainment on TV, using this type of confrontational approach does not address the underlying cause of behaviour, and will often lead to further problems in the longer term  which are more difficult to resolve. I would strongly encourage viewers to not emulate the techniques shown on the One Show with their own dogs, as there is a serious risk of being bitten when 'challenging' dogs with established aggressive responses.  I hope that the widespread opposition to this inappropriate material by the major welfare, behaviour and
training organisations in the UK encourages the BBC to reconsider their use of this inexperienced person as an 'expert' in this field."

RCVS and European Specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine
Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare
Department of Clinical Veterinary Science
University of Bristol
Langford, Bristol. BS40 5BU. UK.

The Kennel Club is very concerned about the training techniques used by Jordan Shelley on a recent episode of The One Show and has written to The One Show to represent its views.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Although we do not know Jordan Shelley’s background, qualifications or experience we are very concerned about the dominance based techniques that were used on the show. The methods used were potentially counterproductive and may have caused unnecessary distress to the dog concerned. There is also a very real concern that it will encourage copycat behaviour at home that may result in dog owner injury and harm.

“The Kennel Club encourages the use of positive reinforcement training wherever possible, which is effective, produces long lasting results and a positive training experience for both dog and owner. We have sought assurances from The One Show about the future training advice that it will be dispensing.

“We recognise that it is extremely difficult to know which techniques and methods are acceptable, in a field where opinion is so split, or to know which dog trainers are from credible and reliable backgrounds. That is why the Kennel Club developed the
Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme, which has achieved City and Guilds recognition. It is the only scheme in the UK to give an external, independently verified qualification to its members. This is a real and credible step forward and it means that people can have the peace of mind that when they go to a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor they are going to somebody who has met a credible set of externally verified standards.”

 Julie Bedford, head of behaviour at The Blue Cross animal charity, said: “We were extremely concerned to see the abusive dog training techniques used by Jordan Shelley on The One Show and we have already been in touch with the programme about this. Our years of experience at The Blue Cross supports the extensive research which shows that the ‘dominance theory’ is incorrect.  Using such outdated methods to intimidate dogs to suppress behaviour can be extremely dangerous for the owner and leaves the dog stressed, frightened and highly likely to bite without giving any warning signals.
"The Blue Cross always recommends reward-based training, using treats and toys, which is much kinder and more effective in teaching a dog to change its behaviour through positive associations."
(Julie Bedford BSc (Hons), PGCE, PG.Dip (CABC), CCAB, clinical animal behaviourist and head of behaviour at The Blue Cross animal charity)

“Wood Green, The Animals Charity is appalled by the BBC’s decision to continue airing Jordan Shelley’s idea of dog training on the One Show.
"As a nation we rely on the BBC to be a trusted source who would seek accredited professionals in every field, which they have not done in this instance.
"Mr Shelley showed disregard for health and safety, if viewers had been tempted to try his technique for food guarding on a larger dog they could have been seriously hurt.
"Dogs are sentient beings and over the past 20 years much more scientifically based training methods have emerged to aid our ability to communicate with mans’ best friend. 
"A qualified, experienced dog behaviourist always works in partnership with the dog’s vet, a full background history must be obtained in order to assess the reasons why the behavioural problem has occurred in the first place, and behaviour modification must be carried out at a pace that the dog can deal with, learn by and benefit from.  
"All behaviour is a symptom of an emotional state, change the emotion and the behaviour change comes much more easily. Shelley’s idea of training is to ensure that the dog is so scared of its owner that it retreats into itself and accepts such abuse as being a part its every day way of life. 
"While Shelley’s approach might suit some owners in the short term, it may have long term adverse implications, ie the dog effectively becomes a ticking time bomb. The dog’s emotional distress could rise to such a point that it may suddenly react badly because it can take the abuse no longer. Consequently, the dog might attack a person and, as a result, be put to sleep. We cannot condone so-called training methods that could lead to a dog making a mistake which it pays for with his life.”
Wood Green’s Head of Training and Behaviour Sue Ketland

"The APBC (the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) is particularly disappointed that the BBC chose to show Jordan Shelley using extremely confrontational techniques when attempting to train a Jack Russell Terrier on The One Show.

"The methods used were unnecessary, dangerous for owners to imitate and have serious welfare implications for the dog involved.

"We are surprised that the BBC is not aware that a large number of welfare and professional organisations have already warned against using methods such as that employed by Mr Shelley

"Whilst it is relatively easy to intimidate a dog in the way demonstrated by Mr Shelley, it does nothing to address the underlying causes of the problem behaviour.

"The APBC strongly urges the BBC to consider using a properly qualified professional in any future programmes in order to demonstrate methods that can effect lasting change, are suitable for owners to use themselves and do not risk compromising pet welfare."

Members of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes* were horrified to watch Jordan Shelley’s training methods on The One Show on Friday 16th September. The methods that he uses will only serve to exacerbate the dogs’ aggression and fear in the longer term.

Dog training has moved on a pace since such punitive methods were used and most trainers and behaviourists will agree that reward based training has the most effect with long term positive results.

We fear that families watching the programme will try to emulate these barbaric tactics with potentially catastrophic results.

We look forward to hearing that you will consider showing a more realistic view of dog training on The One Show.

Yours sincerely,

Clarissa Baldwin, Chairman ADCH

* there are 90+ members of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes based throughout the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man; these include the largest national charities as well as regional and local rescue organisations.

Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity is deeply concerned by the training methods used by Jordan Shelley who was featured on The One Show on Friday 16th September. The main issues we have are:

  • A dog with such aggression and fear issues should never, ever have food taken away by members of the family. There was no regard for the safety of the family - using methods like this will only cause the dog to suppress the behaviour and there is a strong possibility that, when the opportunity arises, he will revert to the aggression.
  • There is no consideration for the dog's emotional state and the motivation behind the behaviour - until these are addressed then you can never consider the behaviour to be resolved.
  • Any other pet dog owner attempting these methods will put themselves and their families at risk of serious dog bites.
  • There was no warning to 'not try this at home.’
We are surprised that The One Show has featured such aggressive training methods as demonstrated by Jordan Shelley and are worried that families will try these methods at home. Jordan Shelley also stated that he ‘agrees with all training methods’ which really does not make sense when there are so many different training methods used throughout the UK.
Dog trainers all over the UK use reward-based methods to train dogs very effectively. Where dogs have behaviours which owners find unacceptable, such as aggression or destruction, qualified and experienced behaviourists achieve long term changes in behaviour through the use of established and validated techniques of behaviour modification without subjecting dogs to training techniques which may cause pain or distress.

We always advise dog owners to carefully consider the help they choose to train their dogs or tackle behavioural problems, in particular to ensure that the trainer does not use any techniques which may put the welfare of the dogs or owners at risk.

Lynn Barber, Head of Canine Behaviour and Training at Dogs Trust


Hairy problem

Is Dogs Today the only magazine that answers the phone on a Saturday? It's meant to be for emergencies, but that is always open to interpretation. Perhaps some one had watched Friday's One Show and following the extraordinary advice of the dog expert now had a very large dog clamped to their foot?
The lady on the phone did sound a little distressed.
"I've been saving up my Bichon's hair for over a year and I can't find where to send it! I'm sure it was your magazine that carried an article or an advert about saving your dog's hair and that someone would use it to stuff a teddy bear. I am desperate to find this address as I want to give the Teddy bear to my dog as a present."
How could I say no?
Sadly I don't remember this if it was in our magazine, and I'm sure I would have remembered!
Does anyone know of someone able to provide this service? If so can you email me or leave a message on here - don't phone - it's not that much of an emergency!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Are you the one in four?

...the one in four that bought their dog from a puppy farm? The KC (Kennel Club) has commissioned a survey which also reveals that three out of five people don't get to see the mum of their pup. Click here to read the release.

It really is shocking. As are the others stats we have at our fingertips. One unwanted dog put to sleep every hour. A record breaking 10.5 millions dogs in the UK. More dogs than ever for sale in pet shops or over the Internet in unregulated sites. Larger and larger puppy farms being planned and licensed. Battersea bursting with Staffie and Staffie crosses yet people still breeding them in huge numbers.

I was invited to take part in BBC Radio Leeds programme about this subject. I include a link to BBC iplayer below. Do listen all the way to the end of the item. Right at the end Our Dogs latest allegedly 'controversial' columnist Elaine Everest, Old English Sheepdog breeder from Kent, rings up BBC Leeds and tries to blame the whole issue of puppy farms and over production on the 2008 ground-breaking documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed (while at the same time trying unsuccessfully to plug her latest book!). I am still shaking my head in disbelief as to who Elaine thought she was helping here? The KC? I don't think they'd see it that way! Crazy logic.

Here's the link: 44 minutes in

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Pet safety in cars

Did you see Friday's BBC One Show about dogs being unrestrained in cars? I'll upload a clip as soon as I can, but people are asking about where to find the petition to make it against the law to have dogs unrestrained, so here is a link to the existing petition. Does anyone know if this petition, if successful would trigger a parliamentary debate - don't you have to set up a petition on the Number 10 system for that to work? I've applied for a joint one for car restraints and dogs left in hot cars. Will take a while, but pretty certain other petitions will not work.

Please note it's already been pointed out that the website hosting this petition sells electric collars, choke chains etc which is very disappointing as you know our stance on aversive training methods. But the petition is still a good idea. Let's hope they evolve and change their ways.

Here's a link for crash-tested car harnesses. Will add more links for other products as people tell me about them.

Click here for Xtra Dog.

And of course, the fantastic who do crash tested crates and harnesses.

Hello to anyone who heard the item on Talk Radio Europe this morning - sorry it took me a bit longer to get the links online. Husband had made me breakfast so had to delay going online!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Forty years at the sharp end

I have always been in awe of Joanna Mason, but talking to her earlier today made me remember why she's a complete hero. Someone who should be treasured, rewarded, decorated.
Joanna has been rescuing Staffordshire Bull Terriers for the last 40 years. It's been an uphill struggle and one that has broken her heart so many times.
In 40 years she's taken in turned around countless dogs that were unlucky, let down, badly damaged, extremely poorly or just badly abused. How many times do you think she's been bitten?
That statistic reveals so much about the breed she has devoted so much of her life to.
Joanna sounds just as perky as the first time I spoke to her.
The dogs keep her young she says.
Her energy puts me to shame.
Joanna is 87.
Wouldn't it be lovely if she could look back at the last 40 years and be able to relax, but never has the breed been in more need.
Joanna has some revolutionary ideas to sort things out.
A breeding holiday of five years to give rescue a chance to catch up.
It used to be old dogs she mainly helps, these days dogs are only weeks old when they need her help.
And Joanna would like some control over breeding and crossing these dogs, someone taking charge and slowing things down and incentivising neutering.
Wise words from someone who loves her breed with all her heart.
Let's hope Joanna sees some of her dreams come true so she can retire without fear for the future.

Come on, make us laugh!

Can you think of a funny caption to go with this photo? We'll be judging at 2pm so do get your thinking caps on! Lovely prizes from Pet Head this month plus we're giving an additional online prize for the best entry of the bag that everyone wants... forget DKNY, the smart folk are carrying DCYD (Don't Cook Your Dog). This model will be the two-sided version featuring the iconic logo and a print of Kevin Brockbank's the Howl. You can order these by clicking here if you're not lucky enough to win one. I have one and I keep being stopped by people asking where I bought it! Click here

Email your entries to asap or add your caption to the thread on our Dogs Today facebook page! God luck bagging the prize!

(my God/Good literal above turned out to be spookily predictive of the winning caption!)

And the winners are:
If you recognise your entry email your name and address to
Congrats to the winners!

September Caption Competition Winner
The Lurcher on the Mount. Blessed are those who bleat, as they shall inherit the straw bales. 

Mina Ward

September Caption Competition Runners-up
Here’s looking at you kid
Claire Hudson, via Facebook

Oh deer, hound, has super-nanny sent you to the naughty spot again?
Julia Philp

Everyone say, erm, “goats cheese”?
Pat Robinson, via Facebook

High on a hill is a lonely goatherd lady oda lady oda lay woof woof
Judith Sennet

Waiter, waiter, there’s a dog in our hay!
Ruth Shaw, via Facebook

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tailwaggers wants a new team member - could it be you?

Do you have some spare time and admin/bookkeeping skills?
Do you love pets and want to help pet owners in crisis?
Have you heard of Tailwaggers Club Trust? This small and ancient charity needs someone to step into the shoes of the legendary Sid Nye who should have retired last March but is still working as hard today as ever! We recognise we are unlikely to find anyone person capable of taking over the whole of his job and are just so incredibly grateful that for more than 20 years he gave his time to the charity free of charge.
We have split the role in two and we now seek someone special to do the admin side.
Are you good with figures - able to do simple book keeping? 
Would be able to attend and co-ordinate four trustees meetings a year
(we meet at the BVA headquarters in London)? 
Have you got a computer with email access?
Tailwaggers Club Trust is a small, ancient charity that helps pet owners in crisis and we are looking for applications for the role of Secretary. 
Here is a brief job description, please email me if you have any questions. 
Tailwaggers is not a wealthy charity by any means, but there is a possibility of a small honorarium with this position for the right candidate as we recognise we would probably have to wait another 20 years for another saint like Sid to come along!
 Please email if you are interested or want to know more.

Secretary's job description


Maintain record of all payments and receipts analysed by category
Maintain a Statement of Activity and Balance Sheet.
(Currently this is achieved by a spreadsheet where a single entry for each transaction
updates all the required fields)

Appeals. Keep a separate record of each appeal showing the donations made, cheques issued and balance in hand.

Prepare budget for current year.

Reconcile  book balances with bank statements every month.

Transfer money between accounts as required.

Bank cheques received and acknowledge donations.

Write the Annual Report

Prepare accounts for audit at year end 31st March, ensuring supporting documentation is complete


Fix dates for meetings based on Trustees availability.

Prepare and circulate agenda in advance of the meeting

Prepare such financial reports as required by Trustees for presentation/discussion at meetings.


Complete Annual Return (Can now be done on-line)

Send them a certified copy of any resolution agreed by trustees changing any administrative aspect of our Governing Document.


Check Email daily and deal with messages as necessary.
Forward email applications to another trustee.

For more details or to apply for the position email the Chairman, or post c/o Tailwaggers Club Trust Secretary, Dogs Today, 4 Bonseys Lane, Chobham, Surrey. GU24 8JJ
Registered Charity No. 265069