A Message from Victoria
Some techniques are so brilliant and simple that they end up "in the water" or in this case, in the water bottle. Today, I find myself in the position of wanting to ensure that those techniques, and one of their authors, get the credit she and her work deserve.
I want to be clear: In a recent episode of It’s Me or the Dog I did not knowingly use an element of LAT, and I have been using extremely similar methods to teach a dog to look at, and then away from, triggers (food, toys, people, other dogs, bikes, cars etc) for over 20 years. Recently, when a colleague demonstrated the use of a novel object such as a cup, a bottle, a toy, and a small plant pot for example to begin this chain, I only thought of it as a minor tweak to a procedure I have used for years. I did not know this was Leslie McDevitt's innovation, I have not read her book or seen her webinar, and the choice of a water bottle was a coincidence, because the family’s daughter had just come back from school, and we decided to use her pink bottle to begin the process.
I am very glad to learn of the origin of evolution, so I can publicly call attention to its author. I commend Leslie for the wonderful work she has done, and I hope that many more dog guardians discover the power of LAT and similar techniques. Through the show I created and other platforms I have built, I am grateful to be able to reach those who might otherwise not see these powerful methods. It is my honor to have the opportunity to share the most effective and kind techniques for helping dogs and their guardians with this wider audience.
I have always thought of all of us as on the same team, and hope to be a force for unity, not division. We have a common goal, and I believe our message is too important to devolve into personal attacks on motives, skill, and even appearance; I hope we can agree to that.
I have always believed that we all stand on the shoulders of giants, past and present - others in our industry who have arrived at practical ways to deliver kind, effective training. I, too, have been in a similar position many times, and I know how upsetting it can be. My hope now is that we can all come together, and rise above this, continuing to share positive training and communication techniques with those who seek our guidance in their lives with their canine companions.
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Articles from Victoria Stilwell
- A Message from Victoria
- Becoming a Dog Trainer
- Social Bullying
- Does Your Dog Respect You?
- Differences Between Male and Female Dogs