Illegal training aids in dog training series “Canine Intervention”
Dog training on TV is proving highly popular. The streaming giant Netflix is now following this trend and has released a new series with dog trainer Jas Leverette. TIR is critical of the new series and strongly advises against replicating its content. Some of the training methods in the have been banned in Switzerland.
March 26, 2021
Like “dog trainer” Cesar Millan, who we have repeatedly criticized for his methods, Jas Leverette bases his training on the outdated “theory of pack hierarchy”. The footage shows Leverette using aversive methods and choke collars and leashes, the use of which is prohibited under Swiss animal welfare law. His YouTube videos suggest that he also uses electric collars, which are also banned in Switzerland.
Although Leverette also applies positive reinforcement, this does not change the fact that he uses training aids that have been banned in Switzerland for animal welfare reasons and that he applies aversive training methods in the series. Time and again, it has been found that dogs that have been trained with intimidation and violence are not “cured” afterwards. On the contrary, their problems are suppressed by it. Terms such as “relaxed submission” and fast-acting methods obscure the true problem and lead the owners to believe that they have found a quick fix.
In general, we strongly advise against unsupervised replication of training methods from television. Every dog must undergo individual training tailored to the specific needs and the problem between the dog and its owner. In addition, the skills for the continued and independent training must be acquired under the supervision of a professional dog trainer. Since the training aids used by Jas Leverette violate the Swiss animal welfare legislation, TIR believes that he should not be given such a prominent streaming platform in this country. We have therefore approached Netflix with the request to no longer broadcast the series in Switzerland to mitigate incentives to replicate its contents or to at least add a disclaimer warning about the prohibited training tools. In addition, we have recommended that aversive training methods should be completely avoided for the welfare of the animals in future productions.