Dr. Sophia Yin was a frequent presenter at veterinary conferences and dog training conferences around the world. Unlike most veterinarians, she enjoyed a huge fan base of not only veterinarians, but also dog trainers, groomers and pet owners. Sophia Yin unexpectedly passed away today (September 29).
Yin says Cesar Millan, TV’s ‘dog whisperer’ seems to have success by forcing the dogs in what he calls submission. Yin says too many veterinary professionals and groomers use the same techniques every day. Yin concedes she once did too, “It’s what I was taught, and I didn’t know any better than using force,” she says. “For us, at that time, what mattered is that we were able to get the procedure completed.”
Yin continues, “What he (Millan) says he does is to make himself a pack leader. That’s not the case. What he’s really doing (called learned helplessness) is like if you’re afraid of spiders and freaking out because they’re all around you. But you’re being forcibly restrained. You finally realize you are helpless; you can’t do a thing about it. You finally give up. But that doesn’t mean you are any less anxious. In fact, you are likely to be more afraid. Forcible techniques don’t help, except to intensify fear. The goal is to implement techniques help to make the pet more secure.”