9.15.2016

The Garmin Thing...

Let's say I made a tool designed to keep kids safe. This tool would keep track of a child's activity, keep them from getting into things, and allow a method in which parents could reprimand their children with an app on the phone.

Let's say I did not consult with parents, teachers, social workers, pediatricians or anyone else who have an invested interest in keeping children safe.

And this tool keeps kids safe by shocking them. Sometimes it's a consistent thing - every time they get near the knife block - but sometimes randomly because a parent just didn't like what the kid was doing at the time with no other feedback. This is a tool marketed for all kids, regardless of sensitivities, health or behavioral issues, and no other feedback aside from "sometimes I get shocked when I'm left alone at home." What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

If I did that, I would deserve 100% all of the flack that Garmin is getting right now from professionals and people who work hard to educate about pet safety, science based training methodology, and actual-real-life learning theory.

I have no doubt that Garmin tried to do a good thing (with dollars as a motivating factor because yes, they are a big company), but I have no doubt their initial intentions were good. "Let's get people a tool that can help them get piece of mind while they are away from their beloved pet." That said, without (clearly) speaking with behavioral science folk, veterinary behaviorists, applied animal behaviorists or people who are certified in professional dog training, they missed the mark by a lot. And by providing this "tool" to clients without any knowledge of behavior, how it works, and how something so punitive can backfire so terribly, many dogs are going to be harmed behaviorally and physically --- all in the name of "keeping him safe."

Had they spoken with these individuals, imagine the wonderful tool they COULD have designed.
I feel it would have been amazing.
Maybe there is a company out there that would like to design such a thing.