How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

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How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Curly_07 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:04 pm

I'm not sure if this is in the correct place Mod's, if not, feel free to move it...

I don't want to mention any names, but I've been recently volunteering with a local Bully breed rescue that's recomended by my vet and a couple of members here. In the 2 times I've volunteered so far, I've noticed some things (info, training techniques) that are just not "right" and make me uncomfortable. I don't know how to go about getting them the information in a way that won't offend them. I don't even know who runs things, as it's split into regions of the area I live and I haven't got familiar with things yet.

The main issue I'm having is the "training" techniques used. They believe in the pack mentality, and alpha theory/dominance. It's plastered on their pamplets they hand out at all events to everyone that comes by. Almost all of their fosters wear prongs, when they clearly don't need them. Some of the lead fosters/event people use many physical corrections, and you can clearly see the dogs are terrified and only doing what they should because of this fear. There are a handful of dogs that don't fall into this category, but most do.

Another thing that was bothering me, was a conversation I had with one of the "directors". She basically said that they have so many dogs in the rescue/foster homes that will never be adopted out because of HA or major behavioral problems, and can't be trusted to adopt out. My question is, why do you have those dogs taking up those spaces when you could be pulling dogs that are very adoptable. I don't know how to ask them this question in a not-so-combative way. Help?

I have this link to help with the Alpha Theory:
http://k9domain.org/alpha_theory.aspx

So, if any of you have advice on how to politely educate, and/or links that I could use to print out the info for them, please share. I really want to continue volunteering with them, but somethings need to be corrected/brought up. Please tell me if I'm over-reacting...
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Amie » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:47 am

Well, I don't think you are, but I don't know how to change it, except to maybe see if you can offer to arrange for a more educated speaker to come, maybe as a fundraiser?

The problem is I know of a lot of shelters and rescues that are using people that follow that outdated stuff. It's frustrating, and I don't have enough clout to combat it personally. I find it nauseating that only slightly trained volunteers are using corrections and corrective gear with shelter dogs, even if I did promote those methods of training, I would hope it would be obvious that there's way too much room for extremely dangerous misinterpretation there.
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Scarsmommy » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:40 am

I think anywhere you go there are going to be rescues whose practices you don't agree with. Some people are willing to listen to advice and want to change for the better of the rescue.. others won't. I myself see that issue over here but have learned that what I say won't change anything. So I just sit and hope and pray that the dogs don't pay the final price for the rescues mistakes.
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:45 am

Well there is another event this weekend. I'm going to print off the info I have and can hopefully get time to speak with someone in charge.

Amie the speaker/fundraiser thing is a great idea.

I guess I just was lucky to work with such a great positive rescue in FL, whose main concern was the dogs and making sure all foster parents did positive training.

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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby ilovetyson » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:49 am

Im not sure if this is a Option, But if you have extra types of Training Collars or something. Take those with you. And if you see a dog that isn't really needing the prong, Offer to "try" this collar on. That you are "Curious" to see how they respond to it. And maybe use that opportunity to say Hey, I really think .....Blah blah blah.

I know some dogs need a prong and do well on it. But there are some that would just as easily be ok using a Martengale, Gentle leader or Easy walk harness. I use all of them with my fosters.. Depending on the dog. haha

So, Maybe try that. Good luck!
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby christina » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:52 am

I don't know that I would focus so much on 'educating' in terms of what your beliefs are of what's 'right' vs. what the rescue's beliefs are but I WOULD definitely try to provide a LOT of information about how easy it is to muck up a dog with inappropriate corrections.

I am not a 'positive only' person by any means because I believe that dogs require balance (same as people) but I do NOT think it's right to have people who don't know wtf they're doing with a prong collar correcting a dog without the direct supervision of someone who has a clue.

If the shelter wants to use correction with the dogs then I think that's absolutely fine but I would definitely try my best to encourage them to have a seminar with a balanced dog trainer who uses correction (and find a good one, not just some weiner who likes pinch collars). I would try to pitch the idea along the lines of, "Hey, wouldn't it be great to have someone come in and show everyone the proper use and application of prong collars and correction? We could save so many more dogs if the volunteers/shelter employees are empowered to train in a more effective way!", or something like that.

Correction is NOT a bad thing but inappropriate correction by people who are uneducated with its use definitely isn't good.



As for the unadoptable (or very hard to place) dogs that are taking up space in the foster homes... I don't know how you would go about suggesting that they change that practice without someone being offended. I'm assuming that you mean that the dogs that can't be adopted out would be humanely euthanized? People really have a hard time with that and the only way I can think of to go about things in that instance would just be to lay it out on the table in terms of the number of dogs saved. If five (or ten or fifteen or twenty) ADOPTABLE dogs die in a shelter because one UNadoptable dog is taking up space in a foster home then it seems pretty self-evident to me. I would explain that it's not that you think that the unadoptable dog isn't worth being saved, it's just that you feel that those other however-many dogs are worth it, too, and that they have a chance for a better life than the unadoptable dog(s). And typically speaking, a dog that's showing insane HA or DA isn't having as 'good' a life as a non-HA or non-DA dog would simply based on the fact that a) they have to be kept apart from society in a lot of instances and b) people around them are nervous all the time which means that the dogs are going to be anxious all the time, too.


I hope that helps.
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Amy Hendrickson » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:30 pm

This might not be what you want to hear but sometimes you have to swim away from a sinking ship. One person can initiate change but you can also make people angry, create bad feelings and problems for yourself. I have found rescuing sometimes more difficult dealing with people than the dogs. The people have strong feelings about what they feel is right and don't always like hearing that they are doing things wrong.

Good Luck

Fix what you can, offer information but don't expect the change you want to see. You might get positive results. You can't turn Cesar Milan into Victoria Stillwell overnight.
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Curly_07 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:49 pm

Amy Hendrickson wrote:This might not be what you want to hear but sometimes you have to swim away from a sinking ship. One person can initiate change but you can also make people angry, create bad feelings and problems for yourself. I have found rescuing sometimes more difficult dealing with people than the dogs. The people have strong feelings about what they feel is right and don't always like hearing that they are doing things wrong.

Good Luck

Fix what you can, offer information but don't expect the change you want to see. You might get positive results. You can't turn Cesar Milan into Victoria Stillwell overnight.


True, very true. Honestly, I'm just hoping I can open atleast one person's mind. I've had success with every individual that I've explained Positive vs Physical/Alpha training with, but I'm affraid it'll be a very different ball game trying to explain this to numerous people/a rescue.

Thanks all for the ideas and support. I'll update on Sunday of how my proposals/information goes over.
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby GoingPostal » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:46 am

I'd have to agree with Amy here, the humane society I used to deal with decided to be huge Cesar fans, even paid a wanna be to come up and do a training seminar and apparently everyone is A-OK with jerking and kicking dogs around who haven't even been taught what they are supposed to be doing. Really irritating since the whole thing started over a fearful dog who needed help and the lovely trainer told someone with a badly behaved intact dog they should let him breed more to get the frustration out. I sent tons of info on dominance theory and training to other members, offered book recommendations, but they are dead set this is the way to go and pretty much blacklisted me when I stated I would not treat fosters that way and didn't think their was anything "humane" about it.
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Celesteandthebullies » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:55 am

Here's a link that may help
http://drsophiayin.com/philosophy/dominance/
Edit: More
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 112711.htm
http://www.kathysdao.com/articles/Forge ... _Pack.html



Another edit:

And if it helps your spirits, the Humane society I work at used to have a very traditional trainer that talked about dominance frequently. Lots of prong, choke chain, etc. We now have 2 clicker trainers and I got extra points for ripping up a Cesar Millan magazine someone left in the lobby.
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Re: How to Politely Educate a Rescue?

Postby Curly_07 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 1:13 pm

Thank you both for your input/experiences.

Thank you Celest for the extra links...off to check em out and print more info. It's encouraging hearing your success. I honestly don't expect the same outcome, but hey it doesn't hurt to try right? I mean, what kind of person would I be if I didn't atleast try, and give all I have to put the info out there. What they choose to do from there, its on them, and if they decide they want to try a more positive approach I will gladly help them.

Again, I appreciate all of you ladies support...

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