The Dutch Prong ban.

 

July 1st, 2018. The prong ban was finally here and large crowds of people cheered in joy at the evil tool of Satan from medieval times being sent to its rightful new home, the trash can!

After years of having to endure the screams and yelps of dogs, being drug down the street by their evil and most vicious owners, finally, the gallons of blood could be washed away from the sidewalks. People were ecstatic! A sigh of relief was expelled at the knowledge that finally people did not have to witness the blood covered dogs, with necks covered in large gaping festering holes oozing puss. Dogs that could not walk normally from shaking so hard in fear and pain that it broke people’s hearts. A great bonus was the earplugs that had been an absolute necessity could now be relegated to the past. An added bonus to that was the environment could now finally heal from years of having to deal with billions of earplugs being dumped in landfills. Hooray for the ozone layer! It could finally start healing again!  Only the veterinarians are having a harder time now. That is the only area that will not do well with the prong ban. As feared, after only this short time of the prong being banned the vets have seen a most drastic lowering of income. They no longer have full waiting areas filled with broken and damaged dogs to take care of. No more stitching and cleaning out wounds every day, no more meds to clean out the infections… The prong may have been an evil tool but boy did it make up for that in veterinarian income! It is expected that a majority of vets will have to close shop after the 90% drop in income because let’s be honest here, their veterinarian practices were overflowing with poor abused prong wound riddled dogs day and night and now that the prong was history… The abuse was gone…

Right? Or maybe…..?

So now the prong ban is here. Many people are dancing in the streets, filled with joy, as others sit back and raise a brow in disbelief and wonder where we are headed as a society. A lot of prong users do not understand why this has come to pass. Why the ban? Why did the government decide to listen to the large group, that has never used a prong in its life, and decided to ignore the voice of the small group, who have in fact used the prong and has learned how to use the tool to benefit a dog? Why is a tool being labelled as a torture device when it is no such thing? The prong is nothing else than a tool to correct a dog. But this is where you get a new problem. By using that single word… CORRECTION. Correction is BAD! Correction is PAIN! Correction is using fear, pain and discomfort. Damaging the dog and this, in turn, creates more blood on the sidewalks so….

The government is hiding behind political correctness. It has to look pretty and neat because the large group has demanded and well…. You know! Elections and all that…  And let’s be honest here… Those votes sure are tasty!

And then there is the screaming majority that proclaims that the rules should be based on what THEY want and think to know about dogs. What do they even really know about tools? They refuse to educate themselves and let their heart speak over their head. They heard the bells toll, they just ain’t sure who they are tolling for tho… But hey, that doesn’t matter! Just scream at the top of your lungs and hope it looks politically correct because that is what matters… How it looks to others…

And that is when questions start to surface in my head. Let me throw a few down here…

  • Have prong haters ever used a prong?
  • If prong haters have in fact used a prong, was this under professional supervision. Or did they simply buy one at the nearest PetSmart and slap it on the dog?
  • Have the prong and tool haters ever had to deal with a strong dog? And with strong, I don’t just mean a physical strong dog, but a mentally strong dog that will get pushy and or even aggressive.
  • What sort of dog background, knowledge of dogs and or training do these prong haters have that makes them feel entitled to place judgement on the prong, or any other training tool for that matter? I am not talking book smarts but actual hands-on deal with an angry or strong-willed dog knowledge.
  • Do the prong haters realise that not every dog is the same and that some dogs need more correction than others?
  • Do the prong haters realise that dog training is not a one size fits all and that each individual dog needs a tailor-made training plan? All to ensure that the dog can live in our society and not be dangerous, or a nuisance.
  • Do the prong haters realise that these tools are not being used to abuse dogs, but to raise them to fit into our world?
  • Do the prong haters realise that a large amount of those hard to handle dogs are in fact created by their form of training, and not by us, the users of the tools?
  • Do the prong haters realise that not all dogs are the same? Each needs its own approach and training.
  • Do the prong haters realise that this new prong ban will most likely end up in more dogs in the shelter and being put to sleep due to it being unmanageable as using the tools to train that dog are no longer allowed and banned under the law?

And I could keep going like this for a while, the list is endless.

I can already hear the angry mob screaming their “You are lazy!” or the “Use better training!” and even the “If I can do it, so can you!” and best of all the infamous “Just takes more time so maybe you should be more patient!”

Just like that… You, as a user of training tools and someone who will advocate for these tools, gets burned to the ground by someone who doesn’t even have a comprehension of what it takes to train a dog. What the hell do you know about training dogs? You use tools! You are an abuser of dogs! You get called the most inventive names, labelled an abuser and you had better deal with it because the prong hater is all knowing. They have after all trained Fifi with cookies and she now knows how to sit on command when she feels like it. You had better shut up because you are nothing more than a sadistic bastard that gets off on hurting dogs. And this is being told to you by people who have never had to deal with strong dogs. Dogs that give absolutely no fucks whatsoever! Dogs that would just as soon do their own thing as they would come up the leash at you for shits and giggles…. And yes, make no mistake here, these dogs exist! They were often previously owned by the prong and tool haters but they can now no longer deal with them so they are en route to the shelter for a date with the pink juice… Guess what? We deal with those dogs and train them, give them a place where they fit and they live long productive lives after that… Doesn’t matter tho. We like our tools, this makes us abusers and that’s that!  

Here’s the kicker tho… If we are that lazy then how come we can be found on the training field at least 3 times a week and often much more? What’s wrong with our training style and use of tools? We adjust our training to the dog we have in front of us. We do not force a dog to adjust to our prefered training style, we look at the dog and determines what it needs based on what the dog shows us. Not all dogs are suited to adjust to one training style. There are plenty of breeds that are bred for a purpose. Breeds like the ones I own for example. I train with Dutch Shepherds and Belgian Malinois crosses. They come from KNPV lines and are specifically bred for protection and bite work. There is a reason we do not grab a labrador or doodle for this training. It’s called genetics. That’s why you have to adjust the training you apply to the individual dog and breed in front of you. Deviate from that path and force them into a prefered training style and things will not go well for the owner, and ultimately the dog. By forcing the dog into a training style that doesn’t suit it you are ignoring all the things the dog is telling you and eventually it has a very high chance of either ending up in the shelter or on the veterinarian’s table, getting the pink juice applied. And all this because you refused to see what the dog needed. You thought with your heart, refused to use your head. Because in your eyes a tool is cruel and abuse… Bet you the dog would have disagreed with you tho! But hey, that doesn’t matter if he’s no longer there to be a bother. I mean, you have principles, right? No abusing dogs with nasty tools. Better toss them aside to a shelter or have them killed because…. Yep, principles!

And then there is the whole patience and take your time excuse. Ehm… Excuse me? Not everyone has 3 years to teach a dog to be obedient or to follow commands. Some people need to teach a dog something short term because their dog might have behaviours that need to be fixed quickly or it might cost his life. Or maybe the neighbours complain…. Or the dog becomes a menace. Patience is a great thing but taking months to teach one simple behaviour to a dog is not the way to go. Let me also tell you that we, the abusers of dogs, the sadists that use tools are not the people that take dogs to the shelter, or have them put to sleep… We work with our dogs. We train them. We do the best we can to get a happy, healthy and well-adjusted dog that fights into our society. And YES we deal with a lot of aggressive dogs that have been ruined or damaged by forcing the wrong training upon them. Shelters are overflowing with aggressive dogs and dogs with behavioural problems but I can tell you this, they are not dogs that we sent there… We do any and everything we can to ensure that this does not happen. We have a very strong sense of responsibility when it comes to our dogs.

A small example: Yesterday I was reading a post on FaceBook by the Dutch animal police that read the Dutch prong ban was in effect. The reactions I read on that post were shocking and I do not shock easy. They ranged from “Finally – Torture device – Medieval – Never needed one “ to “Don’t need one, a boot up the ass does the trick just as well.” And “ I just hang my dogs until they stop struggling. They listen eventually.”

Great, right? I can put a load more of replies like that but they are all in the same range. This tells you something tho. Tools do not abuse dogs. People do tho! So taking away our tools will not change anything for the dogs. I actually fear it will get worse for them. Because now that tools are being banned left and right frustration will start to take over and that is never a good thing. A frustrated trainer/owner makes for an unhappy dog! And who will pay for that frustration setting in? Yep, that’s right! THE DOG! And if he is out of luck he will pay the highest price of all…

So congratulations to all you happy people that are so pleased to see the prong banned. You did it! The prong has been banned and you got what you wanted! But let me say this… Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it and it might not be as great as you imagined it to be…

Regards,

 

Alice MacKenzie – Verhagen.

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Het prikband / pinnenband verbod…

 

1 Juli 2018 was het dan zo ver. Het grote pinnenband / prikband verbod was er en wat werd het toch toegejuigd door de overgrote meerderheid! Wat een feestje! Eindelijk werd dat grote boze martelwerktuig uit de middeleeuwen naar zijn rechtmatige plaats verwezen… de vuilnisbak!

 

Na jaren van gillende en schreeuwende honden die jankend over straat werden gesleurd door hun gemene eigenaren kon het bloed eindelijk van het trottoir worden weg gewassen! Wat een zucht van verlichting was dat zeg… Geen krijsende honden meer op straat die onder het bloed zaten, een nek vol met grote afgrijselijk zwerende gaten, gebroken honden die niet normaal konden lopen van het bibberen van angst. En dan was er natuurlijk die overgrote berg met oordopjes die iedereen droeg om het gegil en gejank van de honden maar niet aan te hoeven horen. Die kon nu ook aangepakt worden dus was hiermee ook onmiddellijk een groot milieuprobleem opgelost en kon nu het gat in de ozonlaag eindelijk gedicht worden!  Alleen voor de dierenartsen was het minder… die merken, nu 5 dagen later, een groot inkomensverschil op en dan is het nog maar net begonnen. Al die inkomsten van de enorme verwondingen die de honden werden toegebracht met die gruwelijke prik/pinnenbanden, de gaten die gehecht en schoongemaakt moesten worden, de medicijnen tegen de afgrijselijke pijn die de honden moesten verduren, die vielen nu ineens weg! Ik verwacht dan ook in de toekomst veel dierenartsenpraktijken te zien sluiten na deze enorme klap die het prik/pinnenband verbod aan ze heeft toegebracht. Want je inkomsten met 90 procent zien dalen… Tsja… Dat valt tegen natuurlijk. En laten we eerlijk zijn, de praktijken zaten dag en nacht vol met zwaar mishandelde honden die nu ineens verlost waren van de prik/pinnenband…

 

Ja toch? Of misschien toch niet?

 

Dus nu is het zover en is het verbod daar. Menig mens is vol van vreugde waar anderen een wenkbrauw optrekken en zich afvragen waar het heen gaat met onze maatschappij. Er is veel onbegrip onder de voormalig gebruikers van de prik/pinnenband. Waarom deze maatregel? Waarom geeft de regering gehoor aan de overgrote meerderheid die nog nooit een prik/pinnenband heeft gebruikt, en geen gehoor aan de mensen die daadwerkelijk deze hulpmiddelen gebruiken? Waarom word het stempel martelwerktuig gedrukt op iets wat geen martel werktuig is. Een prik/pinnenband is niets anders dan een correctiemiddel.  Maar dan krijg je natuurlijk een nieuw probleem. Want corrigeren van een hond is uit den boze! Dat veroorzaakt pijn, angst en schade aan de hond, toch? Dus nog meer van die bloedsporen op straat… en dat kan natuurlijk niet he!

 

De regering verstopt zich achter politieke correctheid want het moet er wel mooi uitzien natuurlijk… Stel je voor zeg.. Kan toch niet zo zijn dat ze geen gehoor geven aan de overgrote meerderheid? Want die moeten straks op ons stemmen en tsja, die stemmen zijn toch wel erg lekker hoor!

 

En dan die gillende meerderheid die proclameert hoe de regels moeten zijn gebaseerd op wat zij willen en weten van honden? Wat weten zij eigenlijk van het gebruik van hulpmiddelen bij het trainen van een hond? Helemaal niets! Ze hebben de klok horen luiden maar zijn er nog steeds niet uit waar die klepel hangt.. Maar dat maakt niet uit toch? Gewoon mee gillen met de rest want ook dat ziet er politiek correct uit en het gaat natuurlijk om het aanzien he.

 

En dan komen er bij mij toch vragen naar boven. Ik zal er eens een paar neerzetten…

 

  • Hebben de prik/pinnenband haters wel eens een prik/pinnenband gebruikt?
  • Als jullie deze wel eens gebruikt hebben, was dit dan met vakkundige hulp? Of hebben jullie er gewoon één aangeschaft en om de hond z’n nek geslingerd?
  • Hebben de protesteerders wel eens met sterke honden moeten omgaan?
  • Wat voor honden achtergrond en kennis van training hebben deze mensen om deze hulpmiddelen te mogen veroordelen?
  • Realiseren deze tegenstanders zich dat niet iedere hond hetzelfde is en sommige honden soms meer correctie nodig hebben dan andere?
  • Realiseren de tegenstanders dat niet één soort training voor elke hond passend is?
  • Realiseren de tegenstanders dat elke hond zijn eigen vorm van training nodig heeft om goed in onze maatschappij te kunnen leven?
  • Realiseren de tegenstanders zich dat deze middelen niet worden gebruikt om een hond te mishandelen, maar om deze correct op te voeden?
  • Realiseren de tegenstanders zich dat een groot deel van moeilijk handelbare honden wordt gemaakt door deze tegenstanders, en niet door de gebruikers van trainingshulpmiddelen?
  • Realiseren de tegenstanders zich dat niet elke hond hetzelfde is?
  • Realiseren de tegenstanders zich dat deze maatregel waarschijnlijk gaat uitmonden in meer asielhonden of wellicht zelf het laten inslapen van een onhandelbare hond?

 

En zo kan ik nog wel even doorgaan…

 

En dan hoor ik nu al de menigte boos opstaan en gillen “Jullie zijn LUI.”  of de standaard “Moet je betere training gebruiken!” en wellicht ook wel de geijkte “ Als ik het kan, kunnen jullie het ook.” En de allermooiste “ Kost alleen wat meer tijd, je moet geduld hebben!”

 

Nou, daar sta je dan als trainer die hulpmiddelen gebruikte en er een voorstander van is. UITGELULD! Want wat weet jij nou in gods naam van honden trainen en opvoeden? Je bent maar een sadist die honden mishandelt. En dit word je dan verteld door mensen die nog nooit een hond hebben getraind of afgericht. Mensen die nog nooit een echt lastige hond hebben gehad, of een hond dat met een bepaald werkveld of doel wordt getraind. Je word gewoon afgebrand en uitgemaakt voor rotte vis. En dat terwijl je waarschijnlijk nog nooit een hond hebt mishandeld. Maar dat maakt niets uit, je bent voorstander van trainingshulpmiddelen en daarmee is de kous af!

 

Maar nu komt de grap. Als wij lui waren, waarom staan wij dan minimaal 3 keer per week op het trainingsveld met onze honden? Wat is er mis met onze trainingen en het gebruik van hulpmiddelen? Wij passen onze training aan aan de hand van de hond die voor ons zit. Wij forceren niets om de hond zich aan te laten passen aan 1 vorm van training. Niet elke hond is geschikt voor 1 vorm van training. Je past je training aan aan de hand van de hond, en niet omgedraaid. Sommige honden worden speciaal gefokt voor speciale doeleinden. Zoals de honden waar ik mee train. Politiehonden training met Mechelse Herders en Hollandse Herders (kruisingen van KNPV lijnen) We lopen niet met labradors op het veld, want deze zijn niet geschikt voor de training die wij hebben. Je MOET je training aanpassen naar de individuele hond waar je mee traint en ook het ras. Doe je dit niet, dan creëer je een hond met problemen. En deze probleem honden eindigen over het algemeen in het asiel, of onder de roze spuit bij de dierenarts. En waarom? Omdat er geweigerd wordt om de trainingsmethode aan te passen naar wat de hond NODIG HEEFT! Ook hebben mensen niet altijd 3 jaar de tijd om een hond één en ander te leren. Ze moeten rekening houden met andere dingen zoals buren die klagen en politie bellen. En dan heb je dat weer… Grote kans dat die hond dan in het asiel eindigt of onder de spuit van de dierenarts. Is dat dan eerlijk tegenover de hond? Lijkt mij niet? Ik kan je vertellen dat wij, de sadisten en mishandelaars van honden geen honden naar het asiel brengen hoor. En ook niet laten inslapen! Wij werken met onze honden en doen onze uiterste best om een gezonde en blije hond te hebben die in de maatschappij past. En ja, wij hebben vaak te maken met agressieve honden die verziekt worden door een compleet verkeerde trainingsvorm. De asielen zitten vol met honden met gedragsproblemen maar ik kan zeggen dat dit niet honden zijn die aan onze kant vandaan komen. Wij doen wat wij kunnen om dit te voorkomen en hebben een enorm groot verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel tegenover de honden die wij trainen en of hebben.

 

Een klein voorbeeld: Ik zat gisteren eens even de reacties te bekijken op Facebook bij de post van Meldpunt 144. Wat daar voorbij kwam daar schrok ik van. Reacties in de trend van “Eindelijk! Weg met dat martel apparaat. Nooit nodig gehad. Een goeie schop voor z’n kont en hij luistert ook!” of “ik hang hem gewoon op, gaat ie vanzelf wel luisteren.”

 

Ik kan er zo nog een berg neerzetten want wat ik gelezen heb was soms gewoonweg schokkend! Zal ik eens wat zeggen? Het is NIET het trainings hulpmiddel of hulpmiddel dat mishandelt. Dat doet de eigenaar helemaal zelf en daar is geen hulpmiddel voor nodig! Ik vrees zelfs dat nu dat het begin daar is om trainings hulpmiddelen en hulpmiddelen te verbieden het alleen maar erger gaat worden… Want nu zal in veel gevallen de frustratie de overhand gaan krijgen en de honden gaan daar de dupe van worden. Maar ach, de onwetende massa heeft zijn zin gekregen… En de honden gaan er de prijs voor betalen… Mooi toch?

 

Gefeliciteerd mensen! De prik/pinnenband is verboden! Maar ik zeg je dit, pas op waar je om vraagt en schreewt want je zou het zomaar eens kunnen krijgen en weet je, het zou heel anders uit kunnen pakken dan je verwacht…

 

Alice MacKenzie – Verhagen.

Take the lead…

I see a very worrying development taking place in the dog world. The lack of taking the lead with your dog and taking responsibility for its actions and behavior. Common sense seems to have gone out of the window and Medication or feeding treats have taking its place. I could state it differently and simply say that with the rise of Force Free training the use of common sense have been replaced by humanizing dogs. Anthropomorphism is at an all time high…

Catchy phrases like “ Hug out the fear – It’s all in how you raise them – Pain / fear / discomfort – Higher value treats – Corrections are bad – Redirect the behavior – The poor thing needs love – History of abuse” and my absolute favorite “ Needs medication “ are what it’s all about now. No more looking at what the dog needs. No more checking to see if the dog is doing well. Just a simple “You are not trying hard enough.” or “You are doing it wrong” when the application of Force Free training doesn’t give the result you are looking for. Balanced training is being used as a dirty word and all balanced trainers are abusers that beat their dogs daily and with gusto in order to get a dog to comply…

Nothing could be more wrong tho… Balanced training is nothing more than looking at the dog sitting in front of you and giving it what that particular dog needs in order to get through life as a solid and level headed happy dog. Unlike Force Free training, where one size fits all. I do not however want to dwell on the differences between Force Free and Balanced training since I could write pages or even books about it but the end outcome would remain the same, one group will never see eye to eye with the other on the subject.

Instead I want to talk about taking the lead with your dog. This is one of the most important things in a dog’s life. To have an owner to guide him over the rocky path of learning what it means to become a good dog.

There are a few rules in life that I have always adhered to when it came to owning and training dogs. Simple rules really.

  1. If my dog is showing behavior I do not like, what am I doing wrong?
  2. A dog that knows its place in life is a happy dog.
  3. What I do not want to fix tomorrow, I do not allow today.
  4. You can not correct a dog for what it does not know.
  5. Emotions have no place in teaching or training your dog.
  6. PATIENCE!!!
  7. Take the lead or your dog will do it for you!
  8. Correct unwanted and reward wanted behavior.

As you can see, not many rules and simple ones at that. I will go through them point by point to explain what I mean and how they can help you to get a well rounded, happy and mentally healthy dog. Why? Because I see to much dogs on medications like Prozac to keep them in check when in most cases it simply is uncalled for or not needed. Medication for a dog is the very last thing you should go for, even when you have seen a vet or behaviorist for your dog’s problems. The first thing you should do is SEEK A PROFESSIONAL TRAINER! Preferably a balanced trainer. Why balanced? Because a balanced trainer will look at all angles and find what the dog needs whereas a Force Free trainer tends to look at things from one side only. The whole one size fits all training mantra of Force Free training comes into play here. A balanced trainer will work with you. They will look at your dog, see what triggers it, or what needs fixing and how to best fix it in a way that works best for the dog, and owner. Medication is hardly ever needed with dogs. But it seems to be the new thing because it is easy and means that owners don’t have to really look at themselves or have to put in the work for fixing the dog. Harsh of me to say that? Yep I guess it is. Is it true tho? In the most cases… YES!!! You train first, get second opinions on that training if you need to and if in the end you still get prescribed medications for your dog in order to fix its noggin…. Then you go for a second opinion on that as well! Do not make your dog medication dependent if you can avoid it! It is not a happy life for the dog. It does however mess with your dog’s head and often makes it even less manageable than it already was. I can not stress this enough… MEDICATION IS THE VERY LAST STOP!!! Not the very first thing you run too… Vets and behaviorists, in my eyes, have no place writing out medications to control behavior. They should stick to physical ailments and leave the training issues and behavior issues to the trainers.

Now, to get back to the 8 points I stated earlier. I will explain what I mean with each point in hopes that people will see how easy it actually is to have a good dog and how little work it can be to get your dog there.

  1. If a dog is showing a behavior that I do not like, what am I doing wrong?  Answer is quite simple here… Any behavior your dog shows you is one that you have either fed it, or allowed it in the past, or have taught it without even knowing it. A dog does not do anything without reason. All you have to do is find out that very reason. Go back in your head, when did it start? What were you doing? What did you not do in that moment? Imagine a puppy that you just got a week ago. You grab the hose to water the lawn and the puppy runs after you nipping at the hose and hanging on to that hose. Makes you laugh, funny as heck, right? Now think about your puppy being an adult, with adult teeth, and each time you grab the hose he lunges at the hose and starts pulling while you are trying to water the lawn… how long before you get fed up and yell BAD DOG? Is the dog bad tho? Or should you have done something about the behavior the first time is showed?
  2. A dog that knows its place in life is a happy dog. Now this one is simple. Teach your dog rules and boundaries that it has to adhere to. Not giving the dog those rules and boundaries means it will keep trying to seek those very non existent boundaries over and over again. It will not learn how to behave and it will soon ruin your life, and probably your interior with it. A dog that does not know its place will look for verification all the time. It will become pushy and annoying and all it hears at some point in its life is NO, STOP, DON’T DO THAT, GO AWAY, GIVE IT, MOVE and whatever negative words you can think of in relation to your dog when it is being a menace in your eyes. A dog that knows its place does not get in your way, does not annoy, does not seek constant verification, does not seek constant attention, will be happy to just be with you. It will not be alert mentally 24 hours a day for your words of anger when it has to move over again or go away. It will relax mentally, which translates into relaxing physically, which translates in you getting a rest as well from the pushy dog.
  3. What I do not want to fix tomorrow, I do not allow today. Easy! Don’t want to say no tomorrow? Don’t say YES today! Every second in a dog’s life is a moment to learn! Look at your dog and its behavior. Any behavior it shows you should think to yourself, could this become a problem tomorrow or in future? If your answer is YES then you deal with it instantly in order to prevent it from growing into that future problem. Take point 1 as an example.
  4. You can not correct a dog for what it doesn’t know. Teach the dog what you want from it. Do not expect it to be clairvoyant or to speak your language. It does not work that way and dogs can not be corrected for what you failed to teach them in rules and boundaries. Again point 1 comes into play here. If your dog shows you behavior you do not like, look at your mistakes made, do not blame the dog. The dog doesn’t know any better since your lacked in giving it the proper guidelines.
  5. Emotions have no place in training and teaching your dog. They really DON’T! Do not get angry, stay calm, be assertive. Anger doesn’t teach anything but the wrong things. Frustration is the worst trainer out there, do not team up with it! Stay calm and in control. If you feel you are hitting a brick wall then take a break and try again later. Your dog will not learn from you being emotional. Well it will learn….. Just not what you want it to learn and trust me that is NOT a good thing!
  6. PATIENCE!!!! Can not stress this enough! Some dogs take two tries to to learn something and some take two hundred! Be patient, non emotional, and push through! It will happen! Some dogs are quicker than others…
  7. Take the lead or the dog will do it for you. Dogs need people to be in charge. BE IN CHARGE! As soon as the dog sees you fail in your leadership capabilities it will take over for you since you are not doing the job! If you take the lead, the dog doesn’t have to which translates in a mentally more relaxed dog, which translates in more rest for you…
  8. Correct and reward. Correct the unwanted, reward the wanted. Nothing easier than that! Always make sure that the punishment fits the crime! Correction is not a bad thing. It can be verbal or physical. It doesn’t mean that you swing the dog around the kitchen by its ears, it can be as simple as a firm NO!

Well that’s it really…. My shaky words of wisdom.. All based on personal experience with my own dogs, and other people’s dogs that I have worked with over the years. Does it make me an expert? Hell no…. I just apply common sense, look at what the dog in front of me needs and try to give it to the dog. So far, it has always worked out. I hope this helps some of you to figure out how to deal with your dogs when you have issues or problems.

 

Regards, Alice MacKenzie.

Lech, stolen and held for ransom…

2

 

Today I bring sad news… It has come to my attention that my very good friends, Ted Summers and Alesha Brandt, have fallen prey to the vile and scheming actions of Richard Starks and Meredith Thompson of DogPatch Downs Daycare and Boarding in Ocala Florida.

I can write up a whole article about what has went down, and why, but Instead I will share the original posting with you all since it will explain what happened. I will also add pictures of proof of theft and shady dealings by Richard Starks.

I will say this tho…. I am disgusted! This man, Richard Starks, is the lowest of the lowest scum that can be found on the planet. Apart from his lies and shady dealings, his boasting and misleading ways and blatant disregard for law and justice has now added theft to his already impressive record of faux pas. To take a dog and use it for ransom? Truly despicable! I would ask of you all to stay far away from this person since he will not hesitate to scam you out of your hard earned cash with his trickery.

I would ask all that have read this article, and that have seen the pictures and proof posted to please share this post far and wide! Let’s make sure that Lech becomes too hot to handle so that he can safely be returned home into the loving arms of his owners, where he belongs!

Regards, Alice MacKenzie.

 

Original post:

 

This is what actually goes on at DogPatch Downs Daycare and Boarding in Ocala Florida

Our dog AIK CHIEN POLICIER aka Lech our 5 year old intact microchipped male Belgian Malinois has been stolen by this facility under the guise of doing business with “his facility.” After finding out about his habitual lies, drug use, fake 501c3 organizations and that he doesn’t even own the facility or have rights to sublet it at all- we stepped back- he decided stealing our dog and making threats to try and strong arm us into paying was his best option.

Now Richard is GREAT at playing the victim- saying we “owe” him something including filing false police reports which he’s done both to his own daughter and us. Neither went anywhere because he has a long history of it.

TRUTH- Richard Starks is a long time dog thief and con artist.

Richard Starks- does not own the property, never has- owes his grandparents who both call him a “crook and liar” $36000. Richard keeps a large amount of illegal narcotics in the kennel itself (pictures below) he has claimed he has been a part of the French Foreign Legion and Blackwater BOTH LIES he claims he’s titled in French Ring and is a French Ring decoy- BOTH LIES he’s claimed he has MULTIPLE CHARITY ORGANIZATIONS all lies- he’s not filed taxes in years- business, personal or otherwise. In FACT the ONLY way he can even afford to eat is his grandparents and Eugene Monroe (his buddy) constantly loan him money. He brags (pictured below) about it- he claims Eugene is his personal ATM lol.

GIVE US OUR DOG BACK RICHARD AND MEREDITH- if anyone sees these two crooks- RUN- if they attempt to sell or have our dog transported from Florida call authorities and us at 918-636-1767 #ocala #florida #doggrooming #boarding#petsitting

 

Pictures of proof, information included with the picture descriptions.

Richard Starks and Meredith Thompson from DogPatch Downs Daycare and Boarding are currently in possession of a stolen dog- Belgian Malinois 5 years old- not altered- microchipped and belonging to Ted Summers. Lech is 83lbs has a distinct diamond shape pattern around his eyes, missing his two bottom front teeth.
Richard Starks and Meredith Thompson from DogPatch Downs Daycare and Boarding are currently in possession of a stolen dog- Belgian Malinois 5 years old- not altered- microchipped and belonging to Ted Summers. Lech is 83lbs has a distinct diamond shape pattern around his eyes, missing his two bottom front teeth.

 

2Lech (pronounced Leck) if you see Meredith Thompson, Brittney Nicole or Richard Starks or they attempt to sell you our dog - please immediately call the local police and us at 918-636-1767
Lech (pronounced Leck) if you see Meredith Thompson, Brittney Nicole or Richard Starks or they attempt to sell you our dog – please immediately call the local police and us at 918-636-1767

 

3Lech- distinctive markings- 5 years old- intact- 83lbs and missing his bottom two front teeth. Stolen by Richard Starks and Meredith Thompson
Lech- distinctive markings- 5 years old- intact- 83lbs and missing his bottom two front teeth. Stolen by Richard Starks and Meredith Thompson

 

4Now missing his bottom two teeth- currently stolen and held illegally at Dog Patch Downs in Ocala Florida- if they attempt to sell him or ask you to pick up or transport him, call Marion County Sheriff Department or Marion County Animal Control immediately. He is microchipped.
Now missing his bottom two teeth- currently stolen and held illegally at Dog Patch Downs in Ocala Florida- if they attempt to sell him or ask you to pick up or transport him, call Marion County Sheriff Department or Marion County Animal Control immediately. He is microchipped.

 

83lbs, Lech, microchipped, stolen by Richard Starks and Meredith Thompson.
83lbs, Lech, microchipped, stolen by Richard Starks and Meredith Thompson.

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8Who Richard brags is funding him is non other than ex NFL player Eugene Monroe- Richard loves sending screen shots of Eugenes Bank account to brag about constantly getting money from Eugene-
Who Richard brags is funding him is non other than ex NFL player Eugene Monroe- Richard loves sending screen shots of Eugenes Bank account to brag about constantly getting money from Eugene-

 

99 A receipt sent to us from dog thief Richard Starks from Ex NFL player Eugene Monroe- why? Because he's apparently Richard's sugar daddy.
 A receipt sent to us from dog thief Richard Starks from Ex NFL player Eugene Monroe- why? Because he’s apparently Richard’s sugar daddy.

 

10Richard sending threatening texts about destroying our dog that he claims we abandoned- in truth Richard asked us to leave our male there because he wanted us to rent kennel space in "his" kennel- we agreed only to find out Richard Starks does not own the property, owes the property owners $36,000, keeps large amounts of illegal narcotics on the and has kidnapped other people's dogs and done the exact same thing to them.
Richard sending threatening texts about destroying our dog that he claims we abandoned- in truth Richard asked us to leave our male there because he wanted us to rent kennel space in “his” kennel- we agreed only to find out Richard Starks does not own the property, owes the property owners $36,000, keeps large amounts of illegal narcotics on the and has kidnapped other people’s dogs and done the exact same thing to them.

 

11Richard claiming our dog has been "abandoned and we owe him money"- simply not true. Richard sending threatening texts about destroying our dog that he claims we abandoned- in truth Richard asked us to leave our male there because he wanted us to rent kennel space in "his" kennel- we agreed only to find out Richard Starks does not own the property, owes the property owners $36,000, keeps large amounts of illegal narcotics on the and has kidnapped other people's dogs and done the exact same thing to them.
Richard claiming our dog has been “abandoned and we owe him money”- simply not true. Richard sending threatening texts about destroying our dog that he claims we abandoned- in truth Richard asked us to leave our male there because he wanted us to rent kennel space in “his” kennel- we agreed only to find out Richard Starks does not own the property, owes the property owners $36,000, keeps large amounts of illegal narcotics on the and has kidnapped other people’s dogs and done the exact same thing to them.

 

12Threats to steal the dog even though legal action has been taken- again- if Richard Starks or Meredith Thompson approach you with a dog for sale or transport- call the sheriff.
Threats to steal the dog even though legal action has been taken- again- if Richard Starks or Meredith Thompson approach you with a dog for sale or transport- call the sheriff.

 

13Illegal drugs kept on the premises of DogPatch Downs. And a picture of Brittney
Illegal drugs kept on the premises of DogPatch Downs. And a picture of Brittney

 

 Message where Richard is pretending Eugene Monroe is going to bankroll him in his fake charity organization.
Message where Richard is pretending Eugene Monroe is going to bankroll him in his fake charity organization.

 

15Richard claims I "hacked his Facebook" lol- clearly here we're discussing this account and he's giving me permission to admin...he's also again falsely saying the "NFL" is in his pocket
Richard claims I “hacked his Facebook” lol- clearly here we’re discussing this account and he’s giving me permission to admin…he’s also again falsely saying the “NFL” is in his pocket

 

16Here's Richard falsely claiming he has his charity organization set up- he has no such organization...
Here’s Richard falsely claiming he has his charity organization set up- he has no such organization…

 

17Permission to admin the Facebook account they're now claiming I "hacked" after they stole our dog...
Permission to admin the Facebook account they’re now claiming I “hacked” after they stole our dog…

 

18Here's Richard calling one of his long term clients Amie an idiot and giving me permission to control the Facebook- HEY RICHARD, don't steal dogs and it won't get posted on Facebook.
Here’s Richard calling one of his long term clients Amie an idiot and giving me permission to control the Facebook- HEY RICHARD, don’t steal dogs and it won’t get posted on Facebook.

 

19More calling her an idiot while giving me permission to admin this page....Hey Brittney- you're an idiot.
More calling her an idiot while giving me permission to admin this page….Hey Brittney- you’re an idiot.

 

20He owes his grandparents $36000 and according to them he is a "crook and a liar"
He owes his grandparents $36000 and according to them he is a “crook and a liar”

 

2121 Here's when he was pretending to own the kennel he is merely a squatter in.... he tells so many lies he can't keep track.
Here’s when he was pretending to own the kennel he is merely a squatter in…. he tells so many lies he can’t keep track.

 

22Again pretending to own a charity that is actually fake..... also AGAIN giving me permission to have the social media sites...
Again pretending to own a charity that is actually fake….. also AGAIN giving me permission to have the social media sites…

 

23Here's Richard's NEWEST fake charity scam- no clue how he's snowed Eugene over and over- and now he's trying to scam ex NFL Brian Schaefering.
Here’s Richard’s NEWEST fake charity scam- no clue how he’s snowed Eugene over and over- and now he’s trying to scam ex NFL Brian Schaefering.

Work your dog, not your mouth…

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I am irritated… and annoyed… and just downright fed up with people constantly telling other people what they can or cannot do with their dogs in terms of training, over how wrong they are in their way of training, over how they are misguided, stuck in the old ways, abusive and mean and even stupid or idiots when these people are yet to accomplish a single thing in terms of dog training to begin with.

It is the new fad out there. To get on your computer or mobile and to assume the keyboard warrior position as a means of sharing your knowledge, or lack thereof…. What is this incessant need to go out there and chastise people for the way they train or do things, or have done things in the past? Why should they now suddenly adjust their way of training a dog to suit you? What makes you so special that your word is law?

I am old school when it comes to dogs. I stick to what I know, I do not fix what isn’t broken and I do not follow the latest rave of doing things one way or the other. I look at the dog in front of me and adjust my training to that particular dog. One training style does NOT fit all! But the new generation of trainers, and I use the term trainers very loosely since everyone is a trainer these days, the new generation know exactly how to tell you what you are doing wrong, and why, because they went to school! And they got a certificate! They had a dog once! They simply know it all these days and boy do they get upset when you disagree with them… They start throwing out things like abuse and bully in hopes of getting a response, or to get heard… The problem is tho that the more they speak the less they are listened too since the same old babble gets old after a time and explaining why you do something a certain way gets old after doing it over and over…

Then the anger starts to really shine through when you ask how they would do it differently but still get the same desired response of effect at the end… they fall silent then. Answers are not something that can be given because they lack of knowledge and experience suddenly shows and they go back to saying one is old school, or lazy, or mean, or not willing to change their views…

Here is the thing tho? Those views have changed over the decades and more than once. Most of us “old school” trainers have already seen it happen before and have done it before and guess what? It didn’t work then! And it will not work now! So yes, we get irritated and annoyed when someone comes up to us on the internet or in real life for that matter, and starts telling us how we are all doing it wrong because science says so! Dogs have changed according to them! Nope, dogs have not changed…. People have changed! Dogs are still dogs with the same clock making them tick inside…. People however have changed and are forever changing as time moves along. They keep trying to fix what isn’t broken, thinking they are making steps forward when in fact they are moving backwards. Society has changed as a whole, putting HUMAN ideas and thoughts on everything they can under the guise of HUMANE treatment. Everything has to be nice and sweet, kisses and cuddles and politically correct for the sake of appearance. It doesn’t matter that this HUMANE fad is damaging the dogs… as long as it looks good. Shelters are filling up due to this state of mind. Dogs are being put to sleep due to this state of mind. Why? Because a dog is no longer allowed to be what it is to begin with! It has to respond to human thought and interaction with human knowledge. It has to think in human terms and read their owners or trainers and give them back a human like reaction because the dog reaction is not appreciated one bit. If it nips it gets labeled a danger and its life is now at risk… Never mind trying to raise a dog like a dog, it has no place being a dog in today’s society, it has to think and feel and react the same way we do or it will pay the hefty price of losing its life for not doing so… Here is the kicker tho? All those dogs in shelters? New generation trainer dogs….. Dogs that didn’t conform to the views of the rigid mindset of the new age trainer or owner. Because dogs should now be treated with human respect and human dignity they are no longer getting what they need which is dog worthy respect and dignity. And the trainers that are old school like me? The ones that still treat a dog like a dog, and give him his dues and respect in a dog worthy and respecting way… we get blamed for it, and told we are antique and mean and evil…

Let me tell you tho? It isn’t our dogs that are filling up shelters! It isn’t our dogs that are going around biting kids and random folks in the street! It isn’t our dogs that are getting labeled as unmanageable or dangerous! Our dogs are just fine! They live a happy life, and fit into society without to much issue. We do not feel the need to push our training style or ways on others…. That is something that the new generation of trainers is into…. Us old school trainers? We don’t give a rats ass on how you train your dog… Just don’t tell us how to train ours because our track record when it comes to dogs is a hell of a lot cleaner and fairer than the track records of the new generation trainer and we do not give up as easily on a dog simply because it presents us with problems. We just adjust our training to deal with those problems and do not try to push our dogs into boxes that they will not fit into to begin with…

So yes… Work your DOGS and not your MOUTH! Listen, ask questions, try to understand and most of all try to learn something before you throw your new generation weight around and point fingers at people… You might just pick up some valuable knowledge that way and your dogs will surely thank you for it!

Disclaimer: By new generation trainer I am of course making a generalization of sorts which is unfair of me and I realize this. Not every new generation trainer is as I have described. But I will say this… If this article is a sore spot for you? Or hits home in any sort of way? Lace up that shoe and wear it!

 

Regards,
Alice MacKenzie.

Balanced training versus (Purely) positive, the great divide….

I might as well call this article “Working dog trainers versus Pet trainers.” Because that is really what we are talking about here. The great divide that exists between the two forms of training and the ongoing skirmish that ensues whenever one side meets the other.

Over the last few days the skirmish has been very visible on a lot of media outlets and both sides dug in for a battle of wills over who was better and why….

The problem is tho, the views tend to be one sided. Specially from the (Purely) positive side. There is an attitude of “Everything you can do, I can do better.” And boy does that rub us working dog trainers the wrong way… Why? Because we know when it comes to working dogs, that training a dog for a task like taking down a bad guy, or to go into a fight and risk its life, over and over, that (purely) positive training simply does not work! It’s not that we are extremely stubborn in this and stomp our feet because we want to be right. It is that we have tried and failed miserably in the process to produce the type of dog that is needed to protect and serve. What rubs us the wrong way even more is when someone then proceeds to step into our world and proclaim “We want to change your training because we know better.” We get told our ways are outdated, that we are cruel, mean, abusers of dogs. We get told that “one training fits all” to ignore the bad, and reward the good. We just don’t understand how it works and if we just adjust our views to see that we are wrong, and they are right, things might change for the better for the dogs.

Here is the thing tho? Not many, if any of those (purely) positive people has ever set a foot inside the working dog trainers world to see for themselves how it works. They have mostly based their views on what they think happens and not what they know happens. There is no such thing as an open mind in (purely) positive training. You either follow suit, or you are evil. Every dog is a pet that needs to be loved on like family. And, I will be honest here, in part I agree with that theory. I have trained xMalinois and xDutch Shepherd’s in KNPV for the last 30 years and yes, I loved and love each and every one of them and they were family to me, right up to the moment that they moved on to their new life in law enforcement or the Military. But I also draw a line as far as loving on and treating as family goes when it comes to dogs. A dog is still a dog. It is not one of my children and it does not get the same rights as a human would. I treat it as a dog. I use a dog perspective when dealing with my dogs. I try to keep things as dog logical as possible and I do not let my human thoughts, ideas and feeling interfere with those thoughts, ideas and feelings. A dog, in my eyes, should be treated with respect and in a dog worthy manner. Not expecting from it to understand our human emotions or to adjust to those human emotions and ideas of what a dog should truly be.

As a working dog trainer I have a very simple set of views when it comes to dogs and how they should be trained. The training should suit the dog in front of you and you should adjust your training according to what the dog gives you to work with. What are the basic rules I use for training of Police K9’s ?

 

  1. When my dog shows me unwanted behavior I check what I am doing wrong.
  2. Gray areas do not exist in the working dog world. Black and white only. No means no!
  3. What I do not want to deal with tomorrow, I do not allow today.
  4. I never ask my dogs anything. I tell them.
  5. Every action deserves a reaction. Good is reward, bad is correction.

 

Now, here is what I see in the (purely) positive camp….

 

  1. Reward the good.
  2. Ignore the bad.
  3. One training fits all.

I can only agree with nr.1. The rest? Nope, not buying it. You are waiting for it to discover on its own how things work and not teaching it what it should know. You are not giving it the skill set it needs to make decisions for its own. You are not teaching a dog the consequences of its actions. This is something I am against when it comes to raising, training and educating your dog to be a balanced and healthy family member and or working dog.

The biggest problem I see or rather the divide between the 2 groups is this. Assumption. The working dog owners and or handlers / trainers see the positive trainers as cookie tossing, tree hugging hippies with fur babies as to where the positive trainers see the working dog trainers as abusive, angry, dominant dog kickers that beat their dog across the field in order to train it. I will admit, I am the first to throw out the cookie comment and even add a “Go hug a tree” when I am frustrated at once again having to deal with a positive trainer coming in on a conversation with proclamations of grandeur over how they can train the dogs we train just as well, if not better. Not because I don’t know about their form of training, but because I know exactly what their form of training is and I know the comment will rile them up to unreasonable levels. The thing is tho, they do not know what our form of training is. They have based their entire view and idea of how police dogs and or working dogs are trained on nothing more then assumption and speculation. They do not have any intimate knowledge of what happens. They just heard stories, from other non working dog people and take it for scripture. They see training tools and immediately begin to create this dramatic picture inside their brains about dogs being tortured into submission on a daily basis. You use an E collar? YOU ARE MEAN! You use a Prong? YOU ARE MEAN! You use a pinch? YOU ARE MEAN! They do not look further beyond the mean part. You are doing something that is vile as a working dog trainer and that’s that! If you dare reply or give an indication of how the tools are used…. YOU ARE A BULLY! It never enters their mind that nothing could be less true, or that the might learn something about working dogs as a whole by asking questions… No, you do not follow suit of the positive training rules so therefor you are now to be chastised and labeled a BULLY, and a mean one at that.

If I look back over the last 30 years in the dog world, how it has evolved, and the impact that evolution has had on dogs in general I can only say that it has not been that much of an improvement for the dog as a whole. Political correctness has reared its ugly head and dogs are more and more being treated as human, children, babies…. And the end result of that is? More bites to children and adults. More dog related human deaths due to irresponsible owner actions. More dogs being put in shelters because of the humanization of dogs as a whole. More dogs being euthanized due to lack of knowledge and control over the dogs that are being bred and owned. The dogs may get a better treatment in people’s eyes, but is it really getting a better treatment? Or is it now paying a higher price for this perceived better treatment? Ever notice how the dogs that end up being killed in shelters are Pets? Not working dogs? Ever notice how the dogs that have aggression issues are pets? Not working dogs? Ever notice bites to children are made by pets? Not working dogs? Ever notice how human deaths in relation to dogs are in relation to pets? Not working dogs? Ever notice how you hardly ever hear about issues in the working dog world with dogs? But in the pet world it is drama galore. In the positive world of training they managed to build a whole industry around it to make money out of it. What does this tell you? That the working dog world is a bad place? That it is a cruel place? That it is a dangerous place for the dogs? Or does it tell you that the working dog world still has its eye on the ball! And it will keep its eye on the ball. It will keep doing what it has always done… Look at the dog, see what it needs, reward the good and correct the bad….

That is the great divide between the working dog world and the positive working dog world. We deal with reality every day. We take the dogs that would be put to sleep in the pet world and give them a task, any task! And they do it, and enjoy doing it! We give them a part in our lives where they know what they are, what is expected of them and what the bottom line is. They get treated as dogs! Not as humans…. It is so easy for people to say, I can train the same dogs you do and do a better job of it but you do not know the type of dogs we work with, or how we work with them, or why we use that particular breed for the work they do…. Instead of assuming something, ask, learn, listen…. There are plenty of us out there willing to explain how it works but sadly enough there are more out there unwilling to listen… Stop thinking with your heart and start using your head. Instead of saying that one training fits all, realize that every dog needs a different approach and that a pet dog is not the same as a working dog that has been bred for a specific purpose for decades. Be open minded for a change… That is what the great divide is about….

Regards,

Alice Mackenzie.