Dog body language is important. Dog body language illiteracy is partly why his well-meaning fans haven't driven Cesar Millan off television. It's why countless dogs' suffering is ignored or re-branded as power plays or manipulation. It's why good people laugh at "guilty dog" memes rather than expressing outrage that a terrified animal is passing for entertainment. It's why people aren't sure whether their dogs' play is safe or not. It's why people miss warning signs and are bitten. And on. And on.
iSpeakDog is the brainchild of Academy student and writer Tracy Krulik. Its aim is to up our body language literacy. This week is iSpeakDog Week and The Academy is thrilled to be partnering with Tracy to help to spread the word about accurately interpreting dog body language.
There's a ton of content in the site, including this nifty image generator.
From September 19th to 25th, 2016, The Academy for Dog Trainers hosted "Harness The Love" week. This all-out social media blitz was a way for us to highlight and promote the use of no-pull harnesses. Participation was through the roof and we are so very grateful to everyone who contributed.
We were delighted to see so much participation in the form of blogs, posts and videos. Though Facebook is our primary platform, we saw over 160 posts on Instagram that week using the hashtags #HarnessTheLove #HTL and #academyfordogtrainers. We were thrilled to see posts and photos using our logo generator by so many trainers—both in and outside of The Academy—but perhaps even more thrilled to see posts by dog-loving, harness-using members of the public, not to mention rescues and shelters like Weimaraner Rescue of The South, Pitty Love Rescue, Inc., West Coast Cocker Rescue, and Women's Humane Society.
For us, the most exciting part of all of this was seeing actual behavior change. People were asking questions, conversation was happening and dogs were being walked on harnesses. We saw conversations like these all over the interwebz:
"Do you sell the harness there ?"A Place for Paws "Yes, we do. Would it be for your new guy? Not really a surprise that a husky would pull!""I just got back from the best walk with Sophie and Murphy I've had in 3 years. Why? I bought the no pull harness last night for Soph and it was AMAZING! Pure pleasure, thank you Tracy Krulik!"
"Cathy can you get me one for Betsy!! Thanks in advance!"
Wonder Paws Puppy School & Family Dog Training "Yes no probs! Which color?"
"Blue please to match the wonder paws lead.""... I will be shopping for one for Oliver who thinks he is a sled dog and it is his job to pull his people when we are quite capable."
West Coast Cocker Rescue "They have them at Tisol. 'Easy Walk' is the best one we found ...around $35/$40 but they really do help. Sarah used to use them on the real PULLERS back in the early days!!""Thanks we have a Tisol in Langley. I will go get one this weekend."
"We got ours today!"
Thank you again to everyone who participated in Harness The Love week! Stay tuned for more campaigns designed to help make life more enjoyable for dogs!