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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The One Show axes 'bully' dog trainer who faces RSPCA investigation over unorthodox techniques

By Paul Revoir

Jordan Shelley, who has no formal qualifications, was shown on The One Show using unorthodox techniques to train a dog

A dog trainer accused of bullying a Jack Russell on The One Show has been sacked by the programme and is being investigated by the RSPCA.

Jordan Shelley – billed as the BBC1 programme’s new ‘dog man’ – was the target of hundreds of complaints from animal lovers over his unorthodox techniques.

Mr Shelley, who has no formal qualifications, appeared on The One Show ten days ago in a new part of the programme in which he was supposed to help correct the behaviour of pets.

But viewers reacted with anger to the ‘dominance techniques’ he used on the terrier called Roxy.

He kicked the dog’s food bowl away and put his foot in its mouth to establish who was in charge.

Critics said the tactics – recorded during a 45-minute ‘battle of wills’ – did not cure the animal of its behavioural problems.

The BBC tried to defuse the row last week by showing Mr Shelley using kinder ‘reward-based’ methods – but this failed to quell the anger of animal lovers.

Many were mystified as to why the BBC let self-taught Mr Shelley offer advice to millions in the first place.

According to the BBC, Mr Shelley was suggested as a guest by TV director Brian Klein.

The trainer, who is to be investigated by the RSPCA, is shown kicking away the food bowl of the dog and putting his foot in the animal's mouth

But Companies House documents reveal that Mr Klein set up a company with Mr Shelley under the name Wobbly Dog Productions.

Mr Shelley, who is said to run an animal sanctuary, has refused to discuss the situation with the BBC.

It is understood The One Show is now toughening up the rules about recruiting experts.

Yesterday the RSPCA confirmed it was looking at the issue.

‘We are investigating several complaints received following an item on The One Show,' the charity said.

'However, because that investigation is now active we cannot comment further on this specific instance.

‘The RSPCA only recommends reward-based training methods.’

The BBC said last night that it was co-operating with the RSPCA and added: ‘There are currently no plans for this feature to return.’

Clarissa Baldwin, chairman of the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes wrote: ‘We fear that families watching the programme will try to emulate these barbaric tactics.’

The BBC said it was ‘engaging fully’ with the RSPCA.

‘It has been made clear on the show that viewers shouldn’t try any techniques from the programme without seeking the advice of a specialist,’ a spokesman said.

‘The One Show has thanked viewers for their comments which were taken very seriously.’

The BBC said the show had featured ‘various differing opinions plus advice from The One Show’s vet’.

Many people were perplexed that after his appearance on the show that Mr Shelley did not even have his own website or indeed there were no details about his qualifications.

A BBC spokesman added: ‘On The Box, a production company owned by Brian Klein, who regularly works with the BBC, was contracted for the item by The One Show.

'The show had not entered into any agreements with Wobbly Dog Productions.’

Mr Klein denied he had approached the BBC about Mr Shelley.



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