– In a welcome move towards increasing the uptake of dog behavioural training, the world renowned Delta Society has teamed up with the RSPCA in Queensland to open a number of training schools for puppies and older dogs alike.
For those not familiar with the Delta Society, it’s leadership is compromised of some of Australia’s top notch dog training and behavioural experts. They run a range of programs, from basic socialisation right through to training dogs to work as therapy companions in nursing homes, schools and more. So it is fantastic to hear that such capable people are involved in a concerted effort to see many more dogs each year properly socialised.
As most dog owners would be aware. thousands of dogs are surrendered each year to shelters across Australia due to “behavioural issues”. The Daily Dog places the term “behavioural issues” in inverted commas, because in our opinion many such “issues” lie with the owner rather than the dog involved. Often times such “issues” are laziness and selfishness on the part of the owner, who basically expects to have a well trained and socialised dog, without putting in the effort required to achieve that end. We wouldn’t expect that from our children, so we shouldn’t expect it from a companion animal, who (in most cases!) is far less intelligent than the average child (teenagers excluded perhaps 😉 ).
The one concern we do have for the good name of the Delta Society however is its association with the RSPCA. As many readers of the Daily Dog will know, we have previously exposed the RSPCA for its predilection to kill almost half the animals that come into it’s “care”. Of course it’s “kill first, don’t answer questions later policy” is something the RSPCA is adept at hiding behind its slick PR spin, but the facts remain. That its focus is not on animal welfare but rather its brand and revenue is underscored by the RSPCA’s comments to the media over their association with the Delta Society.
As RSPCA Qld CEO Mark Townend said in a recent media statement, the schools will carry the RSPCA brand name, however the training method used will be positive reinforcement, designed by the Delta Society.
Therein lies the danger to the Delta Society’s reputation. Whilst emphasising the positive aspects of the campaign, a passing mention only is made by Mr Townend of the fact the schools will be branded not as Delta Society facilities, or even co-facilities with the RSPCA, but as purely an RSPCA initiative. The RSPCA gets all the cudos (and additional revenue such good PR generates) whilst the heavy lifting is done by the behavioural trainers from the Delta Society – people who aim to save dogs lives rather than end them as the RSPCA is so adept at doing.
Were the RSPCA being selfless and keeping the best interests of dogs first and foremost, the Delta Society would be the ones being promoted and having their profile lifted with the assistance of the RSPCA – instead of the other way around.
To be fair to the RSPCA, Mr Townend goes on to say, “We believe that basic training and socialisation of all dogs is crucial to enable them to live harmoniously with humans and each other in urban environments. Our eventual aim is to completely eliminate the need for euthanasia based on bad behavioural traits.”
Indeed. However given the nature of the RSPCA’s spin in the past, we remain skeptical of the genuineness of their desire to achieve such outcomes in comparison with their well known desire for revenue. In fact a cynic may well be justified in asking if the RSPCA is making the above move in order to polish an image that has become progressively tarnished as its kill rate has been brought into sharper focus by the increasing number of low/no kill shelters emerging across Australia. The Daily Dog does wonder if the Delta Society, being aware of the RSPCA’s appalling euthanasia rate, actually sought to instigate the program of canine behavioural management schools as a result.
Whatever the RSPCA’s true motive, pups4sale is sure with the involvement of the Delta Society there will be many dogs saved each year from falling into the hands of the RSPCA and their euthanasia machine simply because of behavioural issues – dogs that will now have the opportunity to have their anti-social tendencies addressed before they get out of hand.
Please contact the Delta Society for more information on this important, upcoming program.