Six months ago, Lori and I had an idea.
As dog trainers who happen to share our lives with pit bulls, we wanted to debunk the myth that pit bulls and other “strong” breeds require harsh methods to learn. Any of us who have spent a considerable amount of time in pit bull advocacy have heard (maybe even chanted) the draconian mantras: Pit bulls are bull-headed. They’re stubborn. They’ll happily take over your home if you don’t establish a clear pecking order. Some “individual” pit bulls need to be walked on metal collars that drive spikes into their necks (though proponents of such tools rarely frame things so transparently).
But here’s the thing. We’ve trained scores and scores of pit bulls by rewarding them for desired behaviors and removing rewards for undesired behaviors – the same way we train Labradoodles and Pomeranians. And decades of scientific research tells us that all animals learn the same way.
So, we decided to start sharing our knowledge and experience through a Facebook page – the little page that could. We had 1,000 likes in a week. And today, we hit the 5,000 mark. We never dreamed we’d grow so quickly. But our reach has shown us something really heartening: We aren’t alone.
And, we’re just getting warmed up.
Our illustrious teacher and friend, Jean Donaldson, dedicates her marvelous book, Train Your Dog Like a Pro, “to the many dog owners to whom it is simply obvious that it’s not okay to hurt and frighten their dogs to train them. You are your dogs’ guardian angels.”
We’d like to echo Jean’s dedication. Guardian angels, Your Pit Bull and You is for YOU. Thank you.