There's so much advice out there, it's really difficult to work out what is the right advice. First, you've got to get used to the idea that not everyone will agree with everything. No matter how much experience or knowledge you have, someone else, no matter whether they have more or less experience, will disagree.
And the reason for this is that every dog and every person is completely different. We all interpret situations in different ways, and come to different conclusions. It stands to reason that there will be a huge number of different theories and ideas as to who is 'right'.
As we've explored before in this post - Training and Trainers - it can be difficult to figure out who is giving you the right advice.
It's also critical that you're not afraid to ask questions, and not be fobbed off with 'just because' answers.
There are some very well respected people with largely great advice that we'll disagree with over certain things. This is just based on experience, and the experience of the dogs we've worked with.
However, there are others who have completely misdiagnosed something as a 'behavioural problem' when it's nothing of the sort. One well-known trainer, who has written books on the subject, dragged a dog around and told the owners to show them who was 'boss' because the dog was 'taking the piss'. It stands to reason that whichever way you look at that, it's the wrong approach.
But it became apparent when talking to the owners of the dog in question, that this trainer had a very specific 'pack leader' philosophy, and had decided that the dog was being 'dominant'. They didn't take the time to watch the dog: the way they move, the way they react to things, because if they had, they'd have noticed that this dog wasn't dominant - but was in pain. (We talk about this incident more in the 'A Healthy Dog' section of the site).
The more opinions and views there are on dog behaviour the better.
The more eyes analysing what's going on means that we will continue to learn and develop new techniques and ways to work with animals. Some will be spot on, however others will be harmful... we have to be mindful that not everyone will be right, and it's important to filter out the harmful approaches from the useful ones.
Even trainers we're diametrically opposed to may have the odd good idea. The key is always to be aware of that, and only take the information that's useful.
No doubt not everyone will agree with the advice we're providing on the site, but the difference is, we encourage people to question everything they read, or are told.