BC SPCA warns about 'incorrect information about dog behaviour' in TV shows

'Outdated' dog training

Reality animal shows may be fun to watch, but the BC SPCA would like people to think critically when seeing tips about dogs.

The animal welfare group is concerned about some of the information being broadcast, noting some is incorrect and other ideas are outdated. They want dog owners to be aware and educate themselves about the best practices for dog care.

"When shows feature outdated training methods and promote misinformation, they have the potential to adversely affect the welfare of thousands of dogs and damage the bond guardians share with their dogs," states the organization in a press release.

They note that while many dog training shows follow a formula that many owners can relate to, the plot of the show doesn't always mean the information is helpful. To help, they've published their own list of tips, some using the shows themselves as teaching points.

For example they discuss the dogs' body language in the shows.

"In the shows, it’s usually clear that the trainer likes being around dogs, but the dogs don’t always seem to be enjoying it as much. Look at the body language of the dogs, many are experiencing fear and stress during training," they explain.

They also point out trainers that use hurtful punishment, and sometimes these training practices are more for the audience than the dog, the BC SPCA writes.

"On shows featuring punishment-based trainers, dogs are often forced into environments or interactions that make them uncomfortable. These situations are being set up only for the purposes of entertaining audiences and there is no training benefit to the dog," they state.

In addition to their own tips, the BC SPCA provides links to other dog training resources.

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