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Friday, July 15, 2011


There are always people in this world who seem to live their lives looking for the negative in everything and stirring up trouble.  How they live like this, and feel good about it, I will never know.  I usually try to avoid these types of people and not get caught up in their world.  I like to think of myself a positive, easygoing person and I try not to let little things bother me.  But sometimes when my world encounters someone who I think has gone a bit overboard on stirring up trouble and negativity, I get a bit ticked off.

Last weekend, my friend Jo and I went to an obedience fun match in Calgary.  The invitation for the Fun Match said "no choke collars or prong collars allowed".  No problem - I never use either in my training and even if I did, I would respect the rules that other clubs have in place.  So, we go to the Fun Match, visit with a few of the people there that I know from trialling, do a run through with Bosley (which I was very pleased with) and went home.  I thought it was a good day.

Fast forward a few days and I hear that someone complained about me and how I treated my dog.  They said I was using a choke chain and giving Bosley corrections.  Now, first of all, NO ONE from the Calgary clubs know me or know how I treat my dogs in or out of training.  They have maybe seen me in a couple trials or at the very few fun matches I have gone to.  None of these people really know me personally.  This makes me angry - that someone would jump conclusions about me and my training.  Second, I was NOT using a choke chain.  Bosley's obedience show and training collar is a martingale.  If someone thought I was using something different, come and ask me - face to face - don't just assume.  Third, the person hosting the Fun Match has got into trouble because of something that I didn't even do.  I can ignore someone that I don't know who said something negative about me - I really don't care what people who I don't know (or who don't know me) think about me.  But I do care that my perceived actions got someone else in trouble.  That is NOT fair.

Jo took a video of my run through so that I could watch it to see how Bosley was doing in the ring (it is easier to see things through video then trying to remember what happened).  The person who complained, who I am quite sure doesn't know either Jo or I, somehow found the video on Jo's YouTube page and forwarded it to the owner of the facility.  The owner of the facility has threatened to ban the host of the Fun Match from using her facility again.  So, I went back and watched the video again - maybe I missed something.  The only thing in the video that I could see was that when we were waiting for our turn to go in the ring, I gave Bolsey a tug on his collar.  It was a light, sideways tug that wouldn't have been strong enough to tighten the chain on the martingale.  It was not a pop or a correction - just a "pay attention" tug.  I kept his lead on during the heeling so that I could prevent any lagging, but I didn't need to use the lead/collar once during our heeling.  His collar could be mistaken for a choke in the video - but how about someone ask me about it, not just conclude that I must be jerking and yanking my dog.

I am all for positive training.  I am a positive trainer myself.  But there are a group of people who need to get off their high horse and realize that just because you don't use a clicker 100% of the time,  or use anything but a flat collar, or maybe add a correction (gasp) occasionally, that does not mean that those dogs are being abused in their training.  There are certainly bigger issues in the dog world than someone using a martingale at a fun match.


  1. AHHHHH!! That is awful... I use a martingale. Mostly because it's light and easy to get on and off. Flat collars really mash their hair down. People have a big misconception about collars.. One being that flat collars are the most kind collars. They CAN and do hurt dogs.. it has to do with the pressure points on the neck. If you have a dog that pulls they can hurt themselves... I think Bosley looks very loved and cared for!!! If only all dogs were so lucky. I have been warned that there are LOTS of catty people in the dog world. It's really too bad people have to be like that.

  2. OMG, I hate poeple like that. Some thing similar happened to me at a show and go. Someone reported back to our group that I mistreated my dog and everyone believed her. No one would speak to me. It was horrible. I didnt even know what was going on except that no one would speak to me. Finally someone told me what the person said about me. I couldnt believe it. It made my life heck for a long time. Even to this day, 5 years later, some people still dont talk to me. I feel so bad for you. At least it wasnt your own group.

  3. Sometimes the actions of some people defy explanation. Whether it's too much time on their hands, a feeling of self importance or just plain stupidity their not happy unless their causing waves. Anyone who knows you Kim, knows what a gentle and kind person you are. That you LOVE your dogs and would never intentionally or otherwise handle them roughly. If this individual actually owns a dog they must be a saint or the worlds best trainer if they can honestly say they have never had to regain focus/attention with a firm but gentle tug on the lead (Flat collar or martingale) +/- a firm tone of voice (oh no!!). The burden of proof should be on them and if no one else can collaborate their allegations then the matter should be dropped and an apology sent to both you and the host of the match. My two cents worth.

  4. Wow. Some people obviously do not have enough to do. I'm sorry this has happened to you!

  5. Hi Kim!!!

    People like that suck, plain and simple. Most likely they need to be the center of attention and don't care who they hurt in the process. I can't stand people like that and have no use for them.

    Maybe that person should take a good look at how they treat their dogs before they start trouble about someone else. Bet they are just jealous too cause your dogs are AWESOME!

    Sorry that this has happened to you. Don't let them take up one more minute of your time.

    BIG hugs to you guys!

    Addie, Lucie and Hailey

  6. Kim, this is awful! In all the years I have trained with you and your dogs I have NEVER seen you give other than "positive" corrections. I can't believe anyone would complain about you. To me, a tug on the leash means "lets go..pay attention"

  7. sucks that a video I took of you could be turned into something so nasty :(
    The person who started this crap owes you an apology....of course they will be too chicken to show their face & let us know who they are :(

  8. Kim, I'm so sorry to read about this. Obviously the mysterious tattler doesn't know you or he/she would know how wrong they are. Those who know you know how awesome you are with dogs and how unfounded those claims are. Hugs!

  9. how very frustrating for you
    I wish people would deal with issues when they came up rather than waiting and side swiping :(
    hang in there