Show Me, Don't Tell Me

Show Me Don't Tell Me

You can twist perceptions / Reality won’t budge / You can raise objections / I will be the judge / And the jury - Rush, “Show Me Don’t Tell Me”

Have you ever seen Patricia McConnell’s blog? Every week she mixes useful training information, her thoughts on behavior, and some fun snippets of information about her farm. It’s what I want my blog to be when it (and I) grow up.

We enjoy an unprecedented ability to share information with people literally all over the world. With what has become pretty much a standard cell phone and a free account on too many web sites to name (without writing an, ahem, unbelievably loooong blog post) one can share words, pictures, and even video containing useful information.

Or not so useful information.

Because what we have we, as a community, used it to do?

  • To try and convict, without a shred of evidence — let alone an actual conviction — someone of animal cruelty.
  • To endlessly erect and then incinerate straw men based on trainers that largely don’t exist.
  • To create websites specializing in the vilification of people.
  • To create websites that seem to be about addressing a specific behavior problem, but instead specialize in screeds about how not to address it.
  • To lead several movements to turn the only “big umbrella” organization our industry has into the Tea Party for Dog Trainers.

I’m guilty of a few of these things myself. Some of you have undoubtedly been around long enough to remember when I belonged to what has become one of the more shrill fringe groups. (I left to focus on improving my own skills, rather than focusing on what I didn’t like about others’. I still feel that way.) You may have also seen my series about TV’s favorite dog trainer, but in my own defense at least I picked on someone who seeks out the spotlight, limited my criticism to verifiable actions, and included what I would do instead with it. I'm also not writing about him any more and have successfully focused on getting posts about actual dog trainer to rank higher on my own site.

Do you want to help improve the lives of dogs? Here’s how you can use this amazing age of information to do it:

Tell Us How

That’s it. Write about how. Take pictures of it. Shoot video of it. See something you like? Share it and tell us why.

I once read about this amazing concept: when you see a behavior you like, reward it and you will often see more of it.

I’m thinking about giving it a shot. How about you?