Welcome to Dawson’s Corner

Observations from the Dog Side

Dawson Huntley, CEO of the Abolish the Crate FederationPeople say they wonder what their dogs are up to while they’re away and I’m no different. Granted, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it but just the other day I came across some information that surprised me.

Many of you know I train my dogs to compete in agility. Grady has been competing for a few years now and Dawson is continuing to learn stuff so he can eventually compete. Both of them love training and have a good work ethic. And both of them hate to miss out on any fun that the other one might be having. Dawson, in particular, really hates to miss anything.

How do I know this? Because there was a long, long, long period of time when Dawson would bark in his crate while I trained Grady (or some other dog). And not just your average, run-of-the-mill barking. Oh no. What good would that do? Dawson’s bark is L-O-U-D loud with a pitch that is as irritating as nails on a chalkboard. Insistent and impossible to ignore, Dawson’s bark could make a grown man cry. For the longest time nothing could silence him although I am pleased to report that lately he has been very good in his crate. Perhaps Dawson has accepted his fate, I thought.

I was wrong.

Apparently, Dawson has started a movement. It’s called Abolish the Crate Federation and it is very popular among our canine companions.

I knew Dawson wasn’t thrilled about being crated during agility training but I really had no idea how strongly he felt about it. I found organizational documents, personal correspondence, fund raising ideas, minutes from board meetings, and so forth. Since Dawson has such strong opinions, I’ve decided to give him his own blog to express himself.

Welcome to, “Dawson’s Corner, observations from the dog-side.”

Dawson’s Corner

AtCF Open Letter to Members

January 4, 2017

Dear Abolish the Crate Federation Members,

It has come to my attention that many members are having a difficult time convincing their persons that there is no need to be crated.  As you well know, crates have existed for many, many years and have served to help humans “manage” their dogs. That’s a difficult mind-set to change. Consequently, the burden is on canines everywhere to persuade our persons that crating is unnecessary.

How does one accomplish this?  By instilling in your person the utmost trust in your behavior. Your good behavior has to be consistent so that if your person is a gambler, they’d bet on you. The relationship becomes one of quid pro quo. That’s the secret, pure and simple.

There are numerous ways to do this and I will be writing regular blogs discussing each way (the Trust Me Series).  I will be covering topics that are of great importance to our persons and if you follow my advice, crate freedom will be minutes away.

Like all good trainers know, lessons are best learned when they are brief so these blogs will be short and sweet.  Furthermore, there will no longer be any confusion about what behaviors are appreciated and valued by your person.  I also believe if you play your cards right, you might also end up getting a treat!

There you have it.  Chapter and verse.

Dawson Earnest Huntley
President & CEO
Abolish the Crate Federation

Dawson gets a blog

Dawson’s Personal Correspondence

Dear Dawson,

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Abolish the Crate Federation, I know 2 PLABS (Pitt bull/Labs) who fully support it and the Black Panther Organization. In fact, they could probably give you a few good tips about vandalism. The only issue I would ask you to reconsider is the Border Collie exception; I know one who’s lazy as hell, so let’s not discriminate just yet. Border Collies should be evaluated on an individual basis.

read more…

Dawson’s Personal Correspondence

Dear Susan,

I was so pleased to hear that you agree with me about crating. It is hard to find like minded humans, and, in fact, they often don’t even try to understand my feelings about the woes of crating. That said, I want to invite you to participate in a fund raiser hosted by Abolish the Crate Federation. I’m not sure what you’ve heard about Abolish the Crate Federation since the media publishes much misinformation about our goals so I will enlighten you. I will state unequivocally that we are NOT a cult. Why the media continues to state that on national television is beyond me.

read more…

Dawson’s Personal Correspondence

Hi Wendy,

At the risk of inappropriate self-disclosure, it has been a rough day for me. The painter has been at our house for about three weeks now and while he’s been here it has been noisy so my nap schedule has suffered and, I fear, so has my impulse control. Yesterday I got no walk because of the rain and today Mom didn’t feel well so all I got to do was play with Grady and run a little in the front yard. That’s hardly the work out schedule I’m accustomed to.

read more…

The AtCF Board

Meet the board members

Learn more about the board

The AtCF Manifesto

It's all about freedom. Freedom to be.

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