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Come Grow Old With Me

The Best Is Yet To Be

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I entered the world of dogs in Competitive Obedience and Confirmation. I soon discovered that there was a big difference between a performance dog and a well-behaved pet.  It was not uncommon for great show dogs to behave terribly in day-to-day life.   I realized, with some reluctance, that the methods used to condition performance animals lacked the finesse needed to teach practical self-control in many dogs.  

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As a participant in the animal performance industry, I was able to see firsthand the problems with performance dogs, dolphins and a host of other animals that are used to entertain the public.  Animals that are often trained with reward-based methods, the same methods that are used to train our dogs, were regularly starved to force their need to work for treats.   All the while the public sees happy animals working for rewards, the truth is that animals are often suffering and work their best to ease hunger.  Terrible.  I know. 

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The abuse seen in the performance animal industry is well documented. Every year new laws are passed that prohibit animal trainers from causing harm.  Sadly, pet trainers cling to performance methods because they are easy to use and achieve impressive show results.   

Conditioning animals to fixate on food can effectively hide the inner turmoil they may be feeling.  Emotional suffering is easily disguised when hunger is used as motivation.  It is not uncommon for dog trainers to advise their clients to deny food before a training event, which means animals are not simply working for the reward, they are working to avoid hunger, that's cruel, and it may be the worst kind of cruelty because it hides in plain sight.   

The following documentaries detail the tragic events that happen when performance training goes wrong.  These documentaries are hard to watch, but vital viewing for anyone who loves animals and seeks to understand the training industry.  Click on the documentary poster to view the trailer. 

Anima Rights Movies
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I do not consider myself an animal rights advocate.  I eat far more meat than I should, I support local farmers, and I don't rescue dogs. Yes, I buy my dogs from ethical dog breeders.  Still, I feel a deep sadness when I consider how many animal trainers refuse to move past outdated performance methods.  

The Canine Freedom Center was carefully designed to provide the public with a truly humane way to raise family pets.  Our Cognitive Approach to basic dog education helps dog owners embrace the true grace found in loving the family dog.  We do not teach control, we cultivate a feeling of family between dogs and the people who adore them. 

The Canine Freedom Center was founded by Dog Trainer Derek Gignac, with the support of Applied Animal Behaviorist, Darwin Cole.

Derek Gignac was raised in Alberta, Canada, with roots in the Bonneville area.  Derek has had a life long love of animals with specials interests in canine conformation and genetics. He attended university in Edmonton, Alberta, and started working as a professional dog trainer in 2015.  Derek currently owns two dogs and shows them both in conformation. 

Darwin Cole is a dog world historian, (retired Applied Animal Behaviourist), on a mission to study dog trainers and their methods.  He is a founding member of The Dogs We Love, a dog owner advocacy group that helps dog owners avoid fraud in the training industry, establish legislation to protect dog owners and award the world's best trainers for their outstanding achievements. Darwin has extensive experience working with the world's top trainers and is often employed to help professional dog trainers solve problems with their own dogs.  Darwin has lived an off-the-grid lifestyle for decades and has used his personal dogs to survive in Canada's most remote locations.  Darwin is a life long humanitarian who has traveled the world to help protect Dolphins, African Wild Dogs, and a host of other exploited spices.  Darwin lives a lifestyle where technology is minimized so he can enjoy unobstructed nature. He currently owns seven amazing dogs.   

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