Advice, everyone loves to give advice don't they?  But offering advice when not asked for can get you into trouble; ask me how I know?   I'm getting pretty good at not saying anything unless asked.  But it's not easy.  People give me advice all the time; much of it is nonsense but I always listen a bit, try to be polite and if it gets too much I'll say "I'm a trainer" which usually ends the onslaught of advice.  Most people mean well by offering up their advice but some just can't help themselves.  You know those know it all type?

When you listen or take advice from people, be careful of your source.  Even the best intentions from someone can lead you down a very bad path.  Some people love to spew advice even when they really have no idea what they are talking about.  They simply love to hear themselves talk and especially love puffing up and looking like the professional.  Listen, ponder and decide.

Advice - an opinion or recommendation offered as a guide to action or conduct, etc.

Advice is just that, someone's opinion.  We attended an event on the weekend with Elsa.  It was just a small art festival but there was lots of dogs and people to interact with.  When we first got there Elsa was fired up, she tends to bark when she is very excited in the beginning.  She had seen a dog and gave out a few barks when the woman at the booth I was approaching said "typical poodle, barking."  I immediately corrected her, "no they are not barkers."  Elsa is in fact the first excitement barker hat we have had in almost 30 years.  The information that she had thrown out there was incorrect and so I corrected her error.

There is so much information out there to sift through.  If you really have no idea what is right or wrong it can be hugely confusing.  All we can do is read or listen, ponder and decide what is the best for us and our dogs.  The more you research the more you can make an educated decision.  If you just take advice from one source; it could be completely wrong and you would never know that.  I am a big time researcher who likes to know the most that I can.  When a topic comes up that interests me but I don't know much about I set to researching the subject.

With so much different information out there; it will be handled in as many different ways.  There are those who go through life never questioning anything.  They get advice from one source and run with it; they don't want to know anything else.   There are those who are in the middle somewhere; they like a bit more info from a few more sources and then feel satisfied.  The other end of the those who don't feel a need to know are those who are always seeking more; they continue their research and open their minds to new and improved ideas.  Of course there is everything in between as far as needing to know.

When you hear something that sounds very off to you; question it.  Do not do anything that doesn't feel right.  That goes for training, feeding, grooming or just day to day general life activities.  If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.  Confusing information should be addressed; questions brought up should be researched until you feel good about what you are doing.  Each dog is different and each person is different; no two will ever come together identically as far as opinions.

"But I've always heard," is probably one of the most common phrases that I hear these days.  That followed by "really?"  My response is always "look it up."  My gosh, we can look up anything at our finger tips.  Remember when you were young and all the information was held in encyclopedias?   One source of real information, imagine?  We are fed information all day, every day.  Information that we don't ask for but is put in front of us.  Advertising or brainwashing as many consider it.  Don't believe what you read or hear unless you research it for yourself.  You cannot be brainwashed if you don't allow it.

Those who learned something about dogs years and years ago but still hold onto those tidbits of information and throw them around as the only truth should not be listened to.  When I do run into people like this and I do; I smile a lot.  I test the waters for "sharing" info but it is often a one sided conversation which leaves me smiling more and shaking my head as I try to slip away.  No matter what aspect of dogs that it pertains to; there is always something new.  New does not mean better but it does mean that we should have a look at it.  This new information might be the stupidest propaganda ever but it might hold some exceptionally wonderful insight.

When I am asked I most always give advice; but that is all it is, advice.  As you know I feel strongly about sharing life experiences to help others. This is what happened to me, this is what I am doing, this is what I plan to do, never "you should."   Dogs are much easier to offer information to, they are typically very open to it.  But humans?  Sometimes getting a message across can be a tricky and highly tactical maneuver.

But don't just take my word, look it up.  Have a great week.