If you've ever wondered what your dog trainer really really really needs you to know, then you're in luck, because this is exactly what Sarah and I are discussing today.
Having been a professional dog trainer for decades, there are so many things I see owners (even seasoned ones) do that are a hard “No” in my book.
And when asked “Why are you doing that?” The most common reasons we hear are: “That’s how we’ve always trained/fed/walked our dog”, or “we searched for advice on the internet and that’s what we were told to do!”
(Side note: Here at Dog Sense, we reaaaaally don't like/agree with most of the dog training advice that’s online (except ours, of course!).
Which is exactly why we decided to record this very important episode!
So, if you'd like to know what we, your favorite dog trainers, are really thinking, tune in now!
Here’s What We Need to Know
- Regular training matters. A lot: Even if you send your dog to a boarding and training camp, you’re still going to have to train him! Dog training is not like an app on your phone. You don’t download the commands into him and then voilà! He's trained. You have to commit to progressing AND maintaining the skills he (and you!) have acquired. There’s always more to learn *and* it’s a great way to have fun with your dog and continue to strengthen your relationship and bond.
- Introducing your newest (and one of the most important!) members of your family: Your dog trainer: It’s true. And we consider YOU family, too. So please communicate with us as you would with a family member that you actually liked. Tell us when you have training wins. Tell us when your training tanks. Tell us when there’s a life event that impacts your dog (and you), so when we see you next and your training has clearly been set back, we know WHY. That way, we can better help you troubleshoot and create a different, temporary training strategy that will work for you in the current situation. If you don’t have a close relationship with your trainer, develop one. Or find someone you CAN connect with.
- Find your dog training TRIBE: Having a good support group for *anything* is important, and dog training is no exception! It truly helps to be around people who understand what you’re going through, and who can cheer your wins and motivate you through the unavoidable and inevitable rough spots. Sometimes, your family can be that tribe. Oftentimes, they’re not. Our NJ and CO school students create strong bonds with each other in classes, and even have ‘off site’ meet ups for training, hikes, lunches, and even non-dog social events. Similarly, our online/virtual students message each other and create mini groups where they share videos of their dog’s training as well as push each other to do more with fun and events like “Trick challenge of the month” and monthly training themes.
Join us for the full episode where we’ll share more tips and insights as well as bust a few myths in our typical ‘real talk’ way.