If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably active in the dog world and more to the point of this blog… involved in internet dog culture. Yeah… that’s a thing. (Either that or you were Googling sex toys and got confused.) And if you’re reading this… you likely have a training ideology that you subscribe to. That’s cool. We’ll let you keep that if you insist. We’re really not invested in your life, so too bad for you.
Here’s the thing… this clinging to one idea of dog training tends to lead itself to a cult-like mentality and in some cases… hero worship. Stop that! We’ll tschhht you if we have to. We could name names here but we’re classier than that (fine, we’re not, but we’re going to try to resist) and really the tendency towards pulling at each other from the middle is annoying and fattening, and we mean that in the broadening sense.
When extremes start pulling at each other the ends get bigger while the middle gets thinner and thinner until what supposedly connects the two is punctured like swiss cheese. We love cheese (No seriously… we LOVE cheese), but in general we don’t want to be compared to it.
The internet somehow enables us to get to know our heroes. In most relationships that degree of familiarity breeds contempt. We would really prefer not to see your man boobs in Cabo, or the nude shots of your grandchildren, or worst of all, Candy Crush solicitations. This should be a disillusioning experience. These are not the heroes we build up from reading their books (or blogs or watching videos) but it seems to have the opposite effect on some people. What they should by all rights find annoying is suddenly cute and endearing. It’s like the honeymoon period that never ends.
This kind of bizarre Jonestown following is what leads to cults of dog training with sycophantic followers that are willing to pay to lick the feet of the ‘The One, The True, The Light, The Dog Trainer™’.
The Quality of the TOTTTLTDT™ varies. Some of them might actually be decent dog trainers. They’ve proven themselves in the field, they have dogs with titles, and they started off as someone that was just getting what they had to say about dogs out there. With these types, the fame has sadly gone to their head. They rant and they rave and bring up how wonderful their own dog is constantly. The other type is worse. They start off with little to no real talent. They take in other people’s opinions and spout them out as their own. They are so adamant about their own talent that they somehow convince others to follow them, despite little experience or talent. Their dog training presence is only seen on the internet. In their everyday life, their own dogs are less than impressive.
Not only that but TOTTTLTDT™ is an internet sensation. They don’t just have followers, they have beasts of argument burden. Rather than hold these pointless internet demonstrations themselves, they are wont to only popping in with encouraging quips for the troops fighting in the trenches. The most apparent fact of their presence however is that they don’t actually care about helping their followers/cannon fodder, it’s all about their rightness that must be proved and damn the torpedoes. Semantics and circular arguments are no-win situations, but if you’ve got thousands of people willing to throw themselves down at your throne, what’s a couple hours of snickering over a keyboard.
We get it, we do. These extremes are seductive. They offer instant friends, people to back up what you’re saying (however obtuse it may be), and people to commiserate with when things go wrong. A black and white world is a lovely tempting place to live. Things are simpler and you never need question what is right. What could the middle possibly offer you but a wedgie and a nasty rash?
Well the good part about finding yourself outside of the extremes is your ability to learn from others, be they in agreement with you or not. Consider it making yourself a well-rounded person. Learning to listen and not just react is probably a good goal.
So what, you ask is the point of all this? Well, kids. We’re annoyed. Dog training comes up frequently in our conversations and we can safely say it has never actually resulted in name-calling (or at least not lame-ass names. If you’re going to name call, show us you mean it.). We fully accept the premise that you can learn something from everyone; even if it’s what not to do. The idea that someone can’t learn is foreign and weird and frankly makes us question your inbreeding coefficient. We don’t like rude; we really don’t like nasty, and we really really hate extremists. So basically, if you can’t make your point without ripping someone else down, it’s probably time to go back to the drawing board and find a new point.
What we’re really trying to say here is put down the Kool-aid and trying using the brain you were gifted with. Seriously, if you’re going to worship someone on the internet… it should probably be us.