Et tu KC? Well yes and no...

The welfare and dog behaviour world see pretty united in the press release printed below.

But why no Kennel Club logo? They like to think they are a force in dog training and they have a high profile campaign against electric shock collars, too - so this SHOULD be right up their street.
Why aren't they visibly backing this press release? They are tucked away in the small print as supporting the press release, but why so shy about using their logo to show solidarity?

Is Cesar coming to Crufts?
His tour dates are early March after all.

Wonderful to see everyone else below banding together and saying NO to punitive methods, though.

If the KC logo was just missed off in error - perhaps it can be reinstated?

Problems with aversive dog training techniques
UK animal welfare, behaviour, training and veterinary organisations (1)  are warning of the possible dangers of using techniques for training dogs that can cause pain and fear, such as some of those seen used by Cesar Millan, who has announced a UK tour next year.
The organisations have joined forces to voice their serious concerns about techniques which pose welfare problems for dogs and significant risk to owners who may copy them. These concerns are shared, and the statement supported, by similar organisations around the world (2)  and in continental Europe (3).
Aversive training techniques, which have been seen to be used by Cesar Millan, are based on the principle of applying an unpleasant stimulus to inhibit behaviour. This kind of training technique can include the use of prong collars, electric shock collars, restricting dogs' air supply using nooses/leads or pinning them to the ground, which can cause pain and distress. The use of such techniques may compromise the welfare of dogs and may worsen the behavioural problems they aim to address, potentially placing owners at considerable risk. A number of scientific studies have found an association between the use of aversive training techniques and the occurrence of undesired behaviours in dogs.
The organisations believe that the use of such training techniques is not only unacceptable from a welfare perspective, but that this type of approach is not necessary for the modification of dog behaviour. 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 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 urge dog owners to carefully consider the help they choose to train their dogs or tackle behavioural problems. Anyone can call themselves a behaviour expert, but we believe that only those with a combination of appropriate qualifications, up to date knowledge as well as skills and experience should be treating dogs, and should only do so in a way which does not put the welfare of the dogs at risk.
Further information on:
  • the misconceptions which underlie the use of aversive training techniques
  • the development of behaviour in dogs
  • the problems associated with the use of aversive training techniques
  • finding a suitable trainer or behaviourist
can be found at:

1 Dogs Trust, The Blue Cross, Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), The Blue Dog, Wood Green Animal Shelters, World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), The Kennel Club, Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, Canine Partners, UK , Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB), Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC), Association of Pet Dog Trainers, UK (APDT, UK), UK Registry of Canine Behaviours (UKRCB), Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group (CABTSG), British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) and British Veterinary Association (BVA).
2 Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group (AVBIG), American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB), American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB), The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, Inc. (CCPDT)(USA).
3 European Society of Clinical Veterinary Ethology (ESCVE), European College of Veterinary Behavioural Medicine – Companion Animals (ECVBM-CA), the Flemish Veterinary Working Group on Ethology (VDWE) and Norwegian Association for Pet Behaviour (NAPB) Norsk Atferdsgruppe for Selskapsdyr (NAS).

More information about organisations supporting this press statement can be found at


Anonymous said…
The KC is listed in the names - just the logo that doesn't appear.

I can't see Coape - CAPBT - on the list either, and they've been very vociferous against punitive methods, with petitions and the 'Say No' campaign.

Julia said…
I was really pleased to see this yesterday & retweeted the link plus posted it on Facebook with a plea for my dog owning friends to take heed. Like you, I find it very disappointing that the KC didn't get involved.
PBurns said…
If the Kennel Club did not sign on to this, then I applaud them. This is not a campaign worth sighing on to.

First, let me point out that the publicity whores here are the people running this campaign attacking Cesar Milan. In fact, the reason this campaign exists is because the people pushing it cannot sell their product or move their philiosophical agenda without attacking Cesar Milan. That's sign of bankruptcy on several fronts. Without attacking Milan, they are selling nothing more than another "click and treat" seminar. Yawn. Good stuff, but hardly new, is it?

The issue in training is not reward OR coercion. The question is what is wrong with the dog? Mostly it's the owner, but FIXING a dog that has been ruined by its owner treating it like a child is very different from training a new puppy. And YES, one part of fixing the owner is getting him or her to realize that the dog is NOT a surrogate child. A dog requires excercise, consistency, reward and yes a little correction at times.

I really wonder whether some people even HAVE dogs. Do they think a dog engages in "trick and treat"? They do not! Dogs have dominance and communication problems with each other all the time, and yes they occassionally punctuate their paragraphs with teeth. In the world of dogs, there is a place for that.

NO ONE who trains animals for a living is using pure "click and treat" any more than they are using pure "coercion." It's a little more complicated than that isn't it? Is a choke collar coercion? A head collar? Oooh, he uses a choke collar! He's coercive! Nonsense. I have written about this before. See

The bottom line is that there are a lot of ways to train a dog.

If wannabe TV trainers think they can do better that Barbara Woodehouse or Cesar Milan, well the klieg lights are always on and have at it. But painting a twisted picture to serve as a straw man for a direct mail campaign and product sales is not impressive. Neither is suggesing that Cear Milan is engaged in traning through "pain and fear." I call bullsh*t.

If the Kennel Club did not salute this train of pop philosophy, then good on them.

Anonymous said…
Anyone for or against Mr Burns opinion may be interested in reading his related posting (and some responses) at 'the allie chronicles' under 'what bullies do'
(Note to moderator: I am unconnected to the link above, and it is not a forum or dog mag, just an individual's interesting blog.)
Retrieverman said…
I'm not a big fan of Cesar. I've watched his methods, and I think they can be dangerous if they layperson tried these things.

He's very charismatic, but he doesn't impress me at all.

But in America, it's fashionable to be tough and "lay down the law." Cesar is the Gary Cooper of dog experts.
Retrieverman said…
Thank you for standing up for science, reason, and animal welfare by stating the obvious about Cesar.

I did on my blog recently, and I'm afraid I may have lost half of my friends. But my readership more than doubled.

Too many people have a blind spot about this man and about these methods.

Popular Posts