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  • Writer's pictureRenée at Bravo Dog

Diet Pills & Dog Training: The Allure Of The "Quick Fix"

Updated: Apr 4

Who doesn't want a quick fix? Why wait patiently when there are promises (and apparent proof) that we can fix something... and fast? We live in a society that is drawn to quick fixes; it's human nature. Run out of coffee? Order it on Amazon and it can arrive the same day. Craving that amazing chicken teriyaki from the restaurant across town? Uber Eats can have it to your front door within the hour. Instant gratification is something we have become accustomed to.


diet pills

So, it's not surprising when we look at the parallels between diet culture and dog training. It's uncanny. In 2023 diet and weight loss grew to be a $75+ billion industry, yet according to studies— 95% of diets fail. The appeal of a potential fast resolution to a problem continues. We can thank persuasive and unethical marketing for that.




The Before and After

before and after photo

"Those photos of Gabby who in her before photos that couldn't zip up her pants and NOW they are hanging off of her? That supplement did that? Sign me up!" The appeal of perceived visual proof is an undeniable game changer when it comes to marketing; photos and testimonials tend to draw in consumers.


before and after photo

The same can be said for dog training on social media and tv. The dog barking and straining on the end of the leash on TikTok within a few minutes suddenly has stopped and is sitting compliant next to the trainer? Yes, please! I'd like you to pause and become a skeptic when you come across this on tv or on social media. There is a lot at stake.


The Consequences For Our Dogs


toddler playing in her room

As a consenting adult we can certainly make decisions about our own bodies. And, if there are consequences this is a result of our choices. But, our dogs depend on us to make the best decisions possible for their welfare. Experts believe that dogs as adults are intellectually equal to a 2 or 2.5 year old human; essentially toddlers for life. They speak to us with their body language, which is one of the most misunderstood languages that exist within the dog-human dynamic. Once you understand dog body language, you will IMMEDIATELY recognize dogs that are uncomfortable and stressed, which will lead you to make better decisions for your dog.


Choosing the wrong approach to train our dogs can have dire consequences. We know that utilizing methods that suppress behaviour result in a negative impact on their quality of life. Now, here is the tricky part; marketing and advertising LIE. Manufacturers and users of tools and methods that utilize punishment and suppression are now labeling them "humane" and are utilizing jargon that will make you think what they are doing is harmless. They will try to suck you in with promises and guarantees that your dog will be fine. But, they won't.


person mopping floor

My colleague Tiff at Free to Be Dog Training nails it when she says we are "the mop up squad". We are often the ones that see clients that have used the tools and methods that promise a quick fix and are then sought out to try and help reverse the damage. What is the damage? An increase in aggression & reactivity, dogs that are shut-down emotionally and have checked out as a result of the punishment. Relationships between guardians and dogs are damaged and trust is broken. Some damage cannot be reversed. I am constantly heartbroken because I know these results can be prevented, hence why I am writing this article.


Money, greed and ego are the reason this is happening.


Playing On Your Emotions

I know from experience that my clients are frustrated, upset and emotionally vulnerable when they reach out for help. This is the PERFECT time for anyone looking to benefit from that vulnerability to make a quick buck. And if you've fallen victim to this in the past I don't want you to blame yourself; knowing better means doing better. You can help prevent this for others by sharing your story and supporting those of us that are trying to change what's going on for dogs and their guardians when it comes to dog training.


I hope this information empowers you to make the best decisions possible for you and your dog. As always, reach out to me personally to work together if you are struggling.


 
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