Friday, March 29, 2013

The Comedy of Call Center Dog Training

As I have noted in the past, AKC dog registrations are falling so fast that they may have no dogs to register at all by 2025. See the numbers yourself.

So what is the AKC doing about that? They are in a bit of a pickle, as the culture of dogs in America has changed, and so too has the American social scene, but the AKC has not kept up with the times, and they continue to double down on deformed, defective and diseased breeds.

But suppose defective, diseased and deformed dogs were a business plan?  Suppose instead of being a business liability, they could be turned into a feature?

That seems to have been the AKC's thinking when they began to market themselves as a veterinary referral service.  We not only recommend defective dogs, we also recommend veterinarians to fix those dogs!  Perfect.

What?  You cannot afford all those expensive veterinary fixes?  No problem --the AKC sells pet insurance too!

Now the AKC has moved one step further, and they are offering a "hot line" where you can make a telephone call to a supposedly "expert" nameless, faceless dog trainer who, for all you know, is nothing more than a call center in Bangalore, India. 

The AKC writes:

"We have a special offer for you as the owner of a recently registered or listed dog with the AKC. The AKC® GoodDog!SM Helpline is a new telephone support service that provides dog owners with access to a live trainer. This service was developed for owners who need advice on training their dogs. There are no appointments to set-up, books to read or videos to watch. The AKC® GoodDog!SM Helpline uses only positive reinforcement training methods that are effective for both owners and their dogs. Best of all, this support is good for the life of your dog, so advice from puppyhood to the senior years will be just a phone call away! Visit us at AKC® GoodDog!SM Helpline to learn more and purchase at your special price of $59.99 (regularly $79.99)!"

Right.  Help is just one high-priced phone call away. 

This is "dog training" that involves no hard work or time since there are "no appointments to set-up, books to read or videos to watch."

And only positive reinforcement methods are used because that's exactly what works for all dogs and all problems in all situations, from deer chasing and cat killing to inter-pack aggression to food guarding.


Oh, and never mind all those string leashes attached to too-thin choke chains that you will find being used in every AKC ring in the country. Those don't work. Just ask the nameless faceless expert dog trainer who is only one $60 phone call away. 

Operators ("live trainers!") are standing by.

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