Things You Should Know

By, your local Dog Trainer

  • I became a dog trainer because I love helping dogs and families succeed. The money isn’t the best, and the stress can sometimes ruin my week, but this is my passion.
  • Puppies need time and patience; you cannot expect a 3 month old puppy to hold a command for longer than a couple minutes. They are babies.
  • Don’t ask “can we try without the leash” after each lesson. You need to build up to that and it takes time, patience and consistency.
    • Yes, eventually we can work off leash but unless your dog is successful 8/10 times with the leash you will only do a disservice to your dog and set it up for failure if you try too soon.
    • Moving to the next step before your dog has a solid understanding often makes training 10x harder, and now you may have to work on fixing poor behaviors because you wanted to move to the next step before your dog was ready, and now s/he is confused and has an improper understanding of the command.
  • I am not a marriage/couples counselor. Please do not argue with each other or fight during your training lesson.
    • Please leave your “I told you sos” in the car. This only builds a toxic learning environment for you, your spouse, your dog and makes working with you uncomfortable for me.
  • When you don’t do the work at home, it shows. I know when you are or aren’t working with your dog outside of class.
  • When you get frustrated and compare your dog to your last dog, or your prior experience to your last dog, please keep in mind that you are doing yourself and your dog a disservice. Constantly comparing your current dog with past ones causes you to neglect the needs of the dog in front of you.
    • Not every dog is the same, not every breed is the same, not every gender is the same and even if you got a dog of the same breed and gender as last time it is very important to realize that this dog is not that dog.
    • This dog has its own unique learning style, personality, temperament, and methods of learning that work best.
  • You hired me for a reason. Listen to me. If you don’t think that I am a good fit for you and your dog, then find a different trainer.
    • I am giving your specific, individualized, instruction for a reason.
    • I have free evaluations, with no obligation to sign up, for a reason.
    • I want what is best for you and your dog, even if it is not me. If we don’t mesh, find a different trainer.
    • If you aren’t going to listen to me, if you aren’t going to follow my training program, please do us all a favor and tell me so that you can find a more appropriate match for you and your dog.
  • If I suggest a training tool please consider using it.
    • I have taken your emotional/ethical stance into consideration
    • I have weighed the pros and cons for both you and your dog
    • I have considered the benefits of using each training tool for your specific dog and have determined this tool, whatever tool it is, is best suited for not only your dog but you
    • I am a balanced trainer and start my training in a specific way to work up to using different tools only if needed. I do not throw a random training tool on your dog and hope for the best. I choose a tool very carefully based on your dog’s individual needs.
    • Listen to how I teach you to use these tools, I will show you the proper and safe way to use them and how to properly communicate with your dog.
  • Do not come back months later to tell me that your dog is a bad dog or doesn’t listen, and then tell me that you haven’t kept up with training or complain about training tools that you are using wrong.
    • Please if you have issues after your training program ends call me, tell me, ask me questions. I love your dog and I want to help you both thrive together.
    • This initial contact makes me feel like I have failed you, that I have failed your dog; it is very upsetting, even if its in gest, because I want you to succeed.
    • I want you to succeed. I want your dog to do well for you. I am here for you.
  • Train your dog outside of class. Do your home work.
    • Especially if your dog has a problematic behavioral issue (lacks confidence, barks and lunges on leash, etc) if you don’t do your homework, we cannot move forward with training.
    • If we cannot move forward with training I cannot help you solve the behavior.
    • We will be stuck doing the same lessons over and over and over until your program ends because the only progress being made is the progress during class, and if the class is only once a week, we have to essentially start from the bare foundation every lesson.
    • This is frustrating, to you, to your trainer, and you will see very minimal progress, if any, and if you see any progress it will likely only be in the training environment or only with the trainer. Not at home, or in public.
  • Train your dog outside of class and do your homework.
    • I feel like I have failed you and your dog when you don’t do your homework.
    • I hate repeating lessons unless its necessary for the dog, and in the dog’s best interest; because you didn’t do your homework is neither.
    • I will try to do the lesson in as many different methods as possible, explain in as many different ways as I can, why practice is important and how to do a specific lesson. I can only do so much.
  • Your money is not worth more than your dogs well-being to me.
    • I will bend over backwards, add more training sessions on, go out of my way to help you train your dog if you put in the effort.
    • I will put in more work than was agreed on to meet your goals if you are putting in the work with your dog.
    • On the same note, I will not continue to take your money and put in the effort if you are not putting into the work with your dog.
      • I am not in this job for the money, I am here to help dogs and their families, I won’t continue to take your money to train your dog if you aren’t meeting your part of the arrangement (doing your homework).
  • I celebrate your little wins and successes as much, if not more, than you do.
    • I love seeing you and your dog succeed. It makes my day and I will remember it long after you have forgotten the tiny triumph.
  • I want to succeed in this career, as a dog trainer. How do I succeed?
    • I succeed when you succeed.
    • I succeed when your dog succeeds.
    • I succeed when you finally take a walk with your dog and enjoy it.
    • I succeed when you can answer your front door without rushing out it.
    • I succeed when you call your dog to “come” and for the first time he comes right to you, even when he’s distracted.
    • I succeed when you tell your dog to “leave it” off of a chicken bone on the street and he does.
    • I succeed when you get to enjoy a vacation with your dog for the first time.
    • I succeed when your nervous and shy dog greets a stranger happily.
    • I succeed when your dog who used to bark, growl and lunge when on leash walks politely next to you at a busy pet-friendly store.

I succeed, when you and your dog succeed.

When you both are living your best life together and thriving in your new understanding of each other.

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