Many social commentators would say that there is currently a crisis from there being too many out of control and potentially dangerous dogs who do not respond to their owners and that annoy or frighten other people. The old literature about dog training has many examples of overly- punitive methods. Choke chains, prong collars and electric shock devices were and still are promoted as being the essential means to the end of having an obedient dog. Mugford will argue that modern trainers need to tailor their messages and methods to the present day realities of the human- animal bond. It is that for many of our clients, pets ARE family and their owners knowingly attribute human qualities and emotions to their pets. The practical skills needed in a good dog trainer will be explored, especially his or her ability to communicate and motivate people. Equipment that simplifies physical control of dogs can be a crucial determinant of success in training young dogs, as also for overcoming long-established unwanted behaviors such as fighting other dogs, excessive barking or excited pulling upon the lead. Training owners is the key to achieving that worthy goal, but always with an emphasis upon kindness and common sense.
Company of Animals