PACT Official Statement regarding Channel 5’s Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly

We are extremely disappointed that Channel 5 has taken the decision to broadcast yet another programme showcasing the alleged rehabilitation of dogs using unsuitable and unethical training methods. The featured trainer demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of canine behaviour, specifically in regards to the science of how dogs learn and the potential consequences of using positive punishment and negative reinforcement. In addition to the use of outdated and unacceptable and punitive techniques, the programme features incorrect diagnoses and consequently, misguided treatment approaches.

This is yet another cynical attempt to win ratings by using misinformation and clever editing to create sensationalism. This irresponsible behaviour by commercial broadcasters is helping to legitimise and perpetuate animal abuse, as well as misrepresenting dogs and deceiving the general public.

Unfortunately, dog training and behaviour in the media is more often than not mired in ego, and fame is pursued by individuals claiming to have, or totally lacking in, credible and recognised educational credentials. Sadly, this reflects human behaviour more than it does dogs.

Considering the UK has many suitably qualified, accredited, experienced and ethical dog trainers and behaviourists and accurate information is widely available, researchers and production companies really need to do better than this.

See link to the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) Statement on Ethical Dog Training for more info