The current political climate is disturbing and yes, frightening. People are het up with fear and hatred, leading to an atmosphere of alarmism, reactivity and violent lashing out. Whatever impulse control we had going for a while has given way to pent up resentment. This is what dictators count on: dividing and conquering. Subjugates must comply under the threat of severe punishment

It is a perfect example of a clock where fear and aggression meet at 12 o’clock . Where intimidation and fear in the right mixture  will result in an aggressive explosion.

This is not just true in human to human relationships but also in canine/human relationships.

It is yet another example why intimidation, direct confrontation and “forced obedience” are inappropriate tools to a peaceful coexistence.

Bullying and willful outbursts only create acrimony.

Push any being too far into submission and the fallout might be what we are seeing unleashed now: unbridled hatred, whipped up by the “safety” or an illusory group fantasy of self righteousness and redirected self hatred in the form of physical and verbal attacks.

Since I spend a good amount of time thinking about behavior and “training” I always ask myself why so many people still stick to the idea that the only way to “get a dog in line” is by using aversive methods, intimidation, shock, prong and pain. And then I think of those people who can only feel good if they get to hunt or kill an innocent animal, how this inequity somehow gives them a sense of invincibility. How desperately low their self esteem must be. That the only way they can keep themselves from collapsing emotionally is by turning their self hatred into cruelty and abuse .

In times like these I am even more grateful to the people and animals who have taught me that communication and kindness and tolerance is a better way. And the results prove that it is unquestionably a better way for all species.

Elisabeth Weiss is a highly certified, experienced dog trainer in Manhattan, NYC. To learn more about dog training services, contact us by phone at (917) 783-1473 or our contact form.

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