Does what I do make me a Dog Whisperer?
Well, if your definition of ‘Dog Whisperer’ is someone who can read and understand canine communication, then I guess the answer would be yes, as the methods I use are proven natural techniques that make use of a dog’s natural behaviours and instincts. However, I try to refrain from using the term ‘dog whisperer’ as it implies that I will just show up and ‘fix’ your dog for you without you having to do anything.
To me this wrong. Dog training is a two-way street. A ‘dog whisperer’ should use a dog’s natural behaviours to enhance training beyond what it would have been otherwise. If you want your dog to trust you in a variety of environments you have to be prepared to train with them and show your dog that you’re worthy of their trust and obedience. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from employing a trainer/dog whisperer that understands how your dog thinks and how that differs from human reasoning, how your dog is genetically hard-wired to respond to certain situations, someone who can also read canine communication, understands the common myths surrounding dog training and combines that with good practice, handling skills and a sensible plan to guide you and your dog towards your goal.
In my opinion, ‘dog whispering’ should be combined with obedience training, not used as an alternative. It should enhance training, making it easier for the dog to understand and therefore reducing any stress. It also has no allegiance to any particular training techniques, despite what is portrayed on TV, as it is merely the understanding of dogs’ natural behaviours and instincts. How any given individual applies that knowledge, using whatever methods they think are appropriate, has more to do with their personal ethics re dog training than ‘dog whispering’ itself.