It’s often questioned whether there is any point sending dogs away to be trained by an expert without the owner present. Many question whether the dog will associate his new found obedience with his owner at all, and whether once back at home he will revert to behaving as before.
Whatever the truth of it is, I heard a funny story about it the other day from a friend. Apparently an uncle of my friend had a dog years ago who was very naughty. The dog was duly bundled off to no less than legendary trainer Barbara Woodhouse to be sorted out.
You can find out more about Barbara at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Woodhouse and http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ilove/years/1980/tv1.shtml , but suffice it to say she a formidable lady who I remember watching on television in my childhood. She had a high-pitched voice, a school ma’amish manner and a tweed skirt, and when she was around dogs did as they were told. At least they did as she told them, and I think I would have capitulated to her will too. Her methods were very hands on as I remember, and not ones I - or most dog owners - choose to employ with dogs nowadays.
But back to my friend’s story. The dog was sent off to Barbara Woodhouse to be trained, but when it returned home it behaved no better than before for his owners. The only change in him was that whenever Barbara Woodhouse was on television, the dog would tremble and whine.
It did make me smile, but thank goodness we love in a more enlightened age now.