Culture clashes when Swedish dog people use foreign trademarks


As most of you know, Rasken and I have started taking classes from Doggie-Zen and one of the concepts I heard of from my instructors Sara and Hanna was Touch Associated Clicker Training (TACT). They told me that they had taken a class in TACT and that they where very inspired by it.

Since then I’ve been blogging about it and I’ve defined TACT a bit wider than it might actually be. I’m truly sorry about that, I didn’t mean to mislead anyone. My purpose with heading the things I’ve been doing “TACT” has been dual:

1. According to Swedish manners and ethics that is the right thing to do. If you are really inspired by someone else’s method you indicate the source of the information you get the best way you possible can. Otherwise someone could blame you for trying to steel their ideas.
2. Sara and Hanna told me that the people that invented TACT will come back to Sweden to give some classes and certificate people in their method. I thought that they could need some advertising while only a handful of people in Sweden seem to know about the methods existence.

When I first heard about the method I googled to try to find out more, to learn more, and to be able to state quotations correctly. The only thing I found was that there had been a registered trademark in the US (not in the EU), but it expired in 2010, and I didn’t find any homepage of the owner Julia Robitalle. So I decided that the proper thing to do was to refer to the name of the method it self. Obviously that was the wrong decision.

From now on, and dating back, I will use the heading Doggie-Zen for this type of training. Actually that’s also a more proper heading when most of the things I’ve been telling about under the heading TACT are much wider than TACT.

Doggie-Zen is not only the name of the Swedish company where I take classes’ whit Rasken. Doggie Zen is about self-control and that really is the big issue I and Rasken are dealing with. Doggie Zen is inspired (that word again…) by Zen-Buddhism where the faith state that humans should give up something in their lifes on earth to get a greater reward in heaven. With dogs the time span is shorter – the dog should just take it a bit easy and wait for us to say that it’s ok before it’s on it’s way to the thing it badly wants right now.

Another “trademark” (I have not found any registered trademark) is Greg Derretts wonderful handling system from which I have been taken I great deal of inspiration and which I also teach. Of course I would never say that I teach Greg Derretts’ system of handling, only he could know exactly what that is.

Most of the classes I give (and it’s not many I only do this as a sideline) are about the subject “agility” and of course handling is just part of it and not everyone wants to do Gregs’ system. But I also, every semester, try to give a class based on Greg Derrett´s DVD “Great Dog… Shame about the Handler!” on the subject “double box”. That’s not my sexiest class, I suppose, because that’s the only one I have a hard time to fill up. I do not make any profit from this class. So, why am I doing it? It’s actually quit simple – I want Greg back to Malmö every year and I would love to get him to Stockholm. So I want to get people interested in his system of handling.

If I’m doing something wrong or questionable, please do tell me.

It occurs a lot of culture clashes when dog people all over the world try to exchange ideas, concepts and services and I think this is one of those clashes.

In Sweden, all of the dog clubs are nonprofit and the idea of commercializing knowledge about dogs are for many Swedes a controversial question(!), as strange as it might seem.

We are far from the culture of suing each other that, to me, seem the case in the United States. Some dog people in Sweden actually are publishing books and DVDs whish obviously and mainly are based on somebody else’s idea or concept, and are getting away with it(!).

Sometimes doing the best you can, based of what you know, simply isn’t good enough. Personally I’m happy to learn more if somebody is willing to teach me something about the ethics of trademarks, world wide.

/Mija Jansson

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2 Responses to Culture clashes when Swedish dog people use foreign trademarks

  1. Mija says:

    Got mess from mr Derrett. No probs.

  2. Annica says:

    Marvellous 😀

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