Twitter is all aflutter. Tweeps are tweeting and re-tweeting good news for dogs!
Since my last post was all about the insanity of dumbinance, ah, dominance, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity offer some refreshing good cheer.
Within a few minutes of each other earlier today, some terrific dog tweeps I follow (and you should too!) pointed to three articles (posted just yesterday and today) heralding kindness, not dominance, not “pack power“, and especially not so-called alpha leader energy, as being at the heart of great dog training.
First, @urbandawgs, @NicoleWilde, @LaynieDane, and @feafuldogs alerted followers that Paul Owens, the original dog-whisperer, is at the center of Tom Matlack’s post, “Are You An ‘Alpha’ Male?” on Huffington Post. Matlack notes:
Owens is on the front line when it comes to the family dog. He continues to espouse the teachings of King and Gandhi, whom he honors as shining examples of nonviolent alphas. By applying their nonviolent philosophy with a scientific approach to educating dogs, he is trying his best to dispel the idea that “might makes right” or that physical punishment and coercion are needed to properly train even the most fearful or aggressive dog.
A woman I know is candid about her dislike for dogs. Nonetheless, she tells the story of a visit to pet-friendly friends who treat their dog with kindness and respect. The dog seems to take cues from this healthy atmosphere and is friendly and well-behaved.
And, finally, this amazing story, “Taming dogs with a mean streak“, at the Los Angeles Times by Kim Murphy about Steve Markwell’s Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Forks, Washington, was shouted out by @chibbard and @happyhealthypup, as well as all those above. Murphy tell us:
The Olympic Animal Sanctuary caters to the worst of the worst from around the country: dogs that would be euthanized or turned away at any other shelter, dogs with records so bad no humane society would consider adopting them out. Markwell gets calls from animal control agencies all over the U.S. that have dogs fit for neither pound nor play yard. He responds only when he’s convinced it’s a dog with truly nowhere else to go…. At 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, with an arm covered in tattoos, Markwell looks like he could intimidate even some pit bulls. But, he said, the secret of taming the untamable is not being tough. It’s giving dogs their space until they’re ready to let him in, exuding quiet kindness …
Evidently, kindness works really well with “red-zone” dogs. How cool is that?
Happy reading. And, don’t forget to follow those wooferriffic dog tweeps on Twitter!