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Dog Whisperer methods must be challenged

I WAS disappointed to read such a one-sided account of Cesar Milan and his dog-training techniques (March 10).

As a provisional member of the APBC (the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors), I was surprised that the concern over Mr Milan's aversive training techniques was barely mentioned.

A number of pet welfare and training organisations, including the RSPCA, WSPCA and Dogs Trust, have joined together to highlight that some of Mr Milan's training techniques could result in pain and fear in our dogs.

Furthermore, they highlight that reward-based methods are used to successfully train dogs by trainers across the UK.

A number of scientific studies have found an association between the use of aversive training techniques and the occurrence of undesired behaviours in dogs.

We do not need to force our dogs into submission, we need to motivate them to want to peform the desired behaviour.

Choose carefully when selecting techniques and trainers to modify your dog's behaviour.

DR SARAH MILLSOPP

School of Psychology, QUB

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