Tuesday 01 March 2016 | 35

Kennel club dogs in distress

While there may be exceptions, footage filmed during a One Voice investigation reflects a sadly all too prevalent reality. Kennel clubs employ violent practices that might not be obvious to an untrained eye, but are glaring to veterinary specialists.

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Why investigate?

According to One Voices' partner veterinarians, the amount of behavioral disorders, bite marks, euthanasia, and abandonment cases recently recorded has been on the rise among expensive purebred dogs. These are dogs that have attended training schools and kennel clubs aimed at transforming them into perfect creatures. But perfect according to what criteria? The human constructed ideal for pets entails turning them into robots or remote controls that can obey their commands. These animal-machines preferably lack any self-determination or distinctive qualities, despite the fact that each breed possesses their own specific skillset, and even more so, each dog his or her own individual characteristics. Many people use training and kennel clubs as an attempt to create the "dream dog." But would they still do it if they knew the severity of the trauma inflicted? In order to alert the public to this issue, One Voice investigators used a hidden camera to film training sessions in several clubs. Afterwards veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Nathalie Simon analyzed the evidence.

What we denounce

Nothing is more difficult than questioning these practices. Scientists have recently rejected the prevailing school of thought that places dogs in the same category as wolves, animals that function within a hierarchical social order. However, dog trainers still employ methods that necessitate exerting dominance over the animals, in order to suppress their supposed instinct to dominate. It is clear that after a millennium of co-evolution alongside humans, canine behavioral patterns are far more complex and subtle than this. Yet in training clubs, techniques that teach submission cause much undue harm. Practices that entail loud scary noises such as ringing bells or shaking boxes of nails are widespread, as are others like shaking a puppy by the scruff of the neck. These methods often lead to quick results, because out of fear, even the most rebellious dogs submit. But in doing so, they are traumatized, resulting in tragic consequences that range from anxiety to aggression. When animal-human relationships are not based in trust, there are real costs.

What we do

One Voice both denounces these practices and calls for action to change them. Not only do we need to close down some kennel clubs, but we also must seriously revaluate our relationship with the canine species. Alternating extreme negligence with harsh methods is not a solution. Living together involves learning how to treat each dog as an individual, as well as understand their needs. Living with a dog requires respect, consistency, and trust. Violence simply cannot exist in healthy, lasting, and fulfilling relationships between humans and animals, according to the veterinarians trained by Caring for Dogs- Code of Conduct. Information and assistance regarding healthy relationships with companion animals will be available in One Voice's Dog Partner Spaces, which will be set up in partner shelters.

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In the subject

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The link: finally on the political map!

Comments 35

I accept that publication of my comments is subject to the code of conduct.

JCC | Tuesday 09 January 2018

Les images montrées sont assez extrêmes mais force est de constater que l'éducation basée sur la hiérarchisation reste très, trop répandue en France. Ce n'est pas acceptable et pour l'avoir vu, les maître ne disent généralement rien.

Faut bien comprendre aussi que ce type de rapport est très humain. La grande majorité arrive dans un club canin en disant "J'ai des soucis avec mon chien, il faut qu'il comprenne qui est le maître" et très très rarement en disant "nous avons instaurés entre nous des mauvaises bases, j'aimerais comprendre comment communiquer et établir une relation de complicité".

tatami | Monday 18 December 2017

Un chien s'éduque dans la "bienveillante fermeté "ou parfois si son comportement est difficile, dans la" fermeté bienveillante". Sur ce forum on constate que certains ont une approche stalinienne (il faut interdire aux vieux d'avoir un chien...).Ils ont une attitude idéologique alors qu'en tout il faut être "raisonnable".
La méthode dite "naturelle" a ses limites avec un chien de fort caractère, donc comment faire ?
Le chien n'a pas "d'amour pour son maître "(c'est encore un mythe)(égo quand tu nous tient) mais de" l'attachement". Il faut donc pouvoir communiquer avec lui et ne pas lui prêter nos indignations et fantasmes divers et s'imaginer avoir une relation amoureuse avec lui...
Dans les années 75 quand j'allais en concours, les chiens étaient acceptés partout (hôtels,restaurants,campings,plages etc..) Aujourd'hui ils sont refusés quasi partout.
Pourquoi ??
Ils sont trop mal éduqués, voilà la réponse..
On est donc passé d'un excès à un autre .
Soyons raisonnables, luttons contre celles et ceux qui emploient des moyens violents, mais arrêtons de prêter à nos chiens nos indignations et nos fantasmes.
La bienveillante fermeté est l'attitude à apprendre, comme avec nos enfants..
À méditer donc

Vanessa | Thursday 21 September 2017

Attention à ce que vous écrivez dans cet article. Je suis vice présidente d un club canin et nous ne pratiquons pas ces méthodes. Nous utilisons la méthode douce ou positive alors ne généralisez pas. Les clubs evoluent dans leurs pratiques même si je suis daccord qu il existe encore des la maltraitance chez certains

Loustic123 | Wednesday 20 September 2017

Comment avez-vous effectué votre enquête ? Certes, des clubs comme ceux là doivent encore exister.. mais ce n'est pas la majorité.