In the dog world, no matter where you go or what you do or who you ask, everyone has a different opinion even on the littlest things. What to feed your dog, what to walk them on, what beds to us, what trainers to use, what treats to use - there are so many different options out there and it can be very confusing!
The issue is, when it comes to animals people have crazy opinionated views and anyone who doesn't align with those is called awful names. Cruel, abusive, outdated, uncaring, ridiculous. You'll get called out for anything and everything by someone, somewhere who doesn't like one aspect of how you care for and raise your dog.
Everyone has an opinion on everything and everyone believes their opinion is right.
Over the years I have had of owing dogs I have been called a whole host of things by a whole host of people. Here's some examples for you;
-I was once called an over protective and restrictive dog owner by someone on a walk for not allowing my dog who didn't have a solid recall off lead to run and play
-I was also called irresponsible and selfish for letting my dog off lead to run and play when it didn't have a solid recall
-I was called cruel for muzzling my dog aggressive dog who used to try to attack other dogs and redirect on me
-I was called a bad and irresponsible dog owner for having my dog aggressive dog on lead in a public place but without a muzzle on as he was a danger to off lead dogs
-I was called selfish and cruel for taking my dog aggressive dog to positive only training classes (as recommended by a trainer at the time) to work on his aggression issues because he was stressed and I was only trying to train him for my own benefit
-I was called cruel and abusive for using balanced training methods to help teach my dog not to be aggressive towards other dogs (after PO failed) because I wasn't actually helping him but abusing him and making him more scared
-I have been called uneducated, abusive and told I should never own or touch a dog for recommending balanced training methods
-I have been called foolish for agreeing to work with and take on dogs who were recommended to be euthanized for behavioural problems
-I have been called a hippie for choosing not to vaccinate or chemically flea or worm my dogs
-I have been called stupid and a danger to people and dogs for choosing to feed my dogs raw
Those are only a few of the many things I have been called by strangers over the years and it;s really hard as a dog owner to know what is the right thing to do and what will get you called horrible names by random strangers who know nothing about you, your dog or your situation.
You see, the problem is, no matter what you do, someone won't like it and take it upon themselves to emotionally and even sometimes physically try to cause harm to you.
Now, don't get me wrong, these people generally mean well. Most of the time people are passionate because they really do care about the welfare of dogs and want the best for them but they go about it in completely the wrong way. Sending someone hate messages and trolling them over social media isn't going to change anyone's mind. In fact it often does the opposite as generally people don't want to be associated with those who bully and troll others for having different beliefs.
The thing that I have found is that people get offended by pretty much anything these days and anything you do or don't do has someone somewhere disagreeing and trying to make you do something else. It's so confusing!
Now I have pretty thick skin, I don't get offended by much and my main goal in life is to educate people and to care for my dogs and the dogs I care for in the very best way that I possibly can. It's why I am so open in my blogs and videos, it's why I happily share content on our page that others may not like and it's why every client we see and speak to gets a full blown lesson on everything we know so that they can make decisions that offer their dogs the best care that they possibly can.
The best thing to do is learn everything you can about each topic, from both sides and then make a decision once you have all of the information putting your dog and their individual needs first.
Like humans, every dog is different. Every dog learns in different ways and that's why different training methods work for different dogs. Pick what works best for your dog and run with it! Do your research, speak to professionals and see what works for your dog.
People will always have opinions, people will always disagree and people will always try to tell you that you are wrong and they are right. People will probably call you names, tell you that you are any of the above and so many more of the insults and rude words there are out there. Sadly, you can't change other people's reactions and you can't stop people saying, thinking or doing what they will do. You can however change how you react.
There is far too much hate in the dog world and people are so quick to judge and simply be horrible to people without even trying to understand the other side of the story. It's sad really as we all have the same goal in life: to do the very best for our dogs.
So always put your dog first - no matter what! Learn everything you possibly can, speak to as many different professionals you can and do whatever is best for your dog. And remember this: if you wouldn't change your opinion when someone is hurling abuse at you, why would someone else?