The Search For “Truth” In Dog Training

“The opposite of what you know is also true”

Timber Hawkeye made that the first principle of his book “Buddhist BootCamp” and I’m growing more in love with that concept each day. In fact, it’s got me thinking a lot about the concept of “truth” in dog training and the more I think on it, the more I realize that it’s the same concept just seen through a different lens.

Many people still don’t know that lie detectors don’t actually detect “lies”. They monitor physiological responses that coincide with deceit. What does that mean? That means a few guys back in the day realized that when someone tells a lie, certain things happen, such as our heart rate speeds up, our blood pressure rises and our pupils dilate. So what a lie detector (polygraph) actually detects isn’t a lie at all… it’s your body’s reaction to telling a lie.

This means someone could walk into a room and get strapped up to a polygraph and tell the most outrageous of untruths, but the machine could miss it and see it as the person telling the truth.

Picture it!

Someone from the 1600’s walks in, they hook him up and the question is asked…

“Is the earth round?”


And the polygraph doesn’t even twitch…

Why? Because, to the person speaking, it was completely true.

In the dog world, everybody, both dog owners and trainers are searching for what doesn’t make the polygraph twitch. What nobody is considering is the fact that truth is relative to the observer. My truth is different than many other dog professionals just in the Kingston area alone. It doesn’t make my truth right and the other guy wrong or vice versa.

The fact is, there is no truth. Their are fundamentals that I believe all dog trainers should know, but there is no “one approach” that is correct while all the others are wrong.

This is something I’ve adapted to my everyday life, and I can assure you, when you come to realize truth is subjective to your time, place and circumstance you start seeing the world through the lens of compassion and empathy as opposed to your own personal filter.

The opposite of what you know is also true…

Also, to anybody who read this and dislike the idea your truth isn’t the only truth…

I’d you can’t be kind, be quiet.

If you wish to learn more about the book mentioned in this article, you can find it and purchase it at


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