Nullius in verba: The pressure to know in dog training

Mutt About Town


“It is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance.” – Charles Darwin

My dog, Earl, dreams occasionally. His eyelids twitch, his throat emits a faint barking sound, and his paws gently move. I am transfixed watching him dream, wondering what is happening inside his brain, what he is feeling and experiencing.

When watching this, I often think to myself: There is so much I don’t know about dogs.

These are dangerous words for a dog trainer in our current society. There are any number of self-proclaimed experts ready to step in, appear on television, to profess what they know. The only problem is, they don’t know. What these folk trainers are stating as knowledge are little more than myths and beliefs based on experience and interpretations, the opposite of what dogs need and deserve: facts based on scientific principles and observations.

The pressure to know, and to claim to know the answers to…

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