What can Training do for you?
I have an interesting topic today, and it’s something I’m asked regularly! “What can training do for me?”. It’s usually followed with a list of reasons why someone has been successful at teaching their dogs basic obedience, or how to fetch a drink from the ice box, but there is just so much more to the benefits a seasoned trainer or behaviorist can offer to you and your pack. So let’s break it down!
This one is imperative, because googling a dog question really isn’t always the best choice! You can find Training info from every end of the spectrum (some that literally leave me dumbfounded) and most of it will not be supported by anything more than personal opinion. It’s better to learn fact about dogs and their way of thinking from someone that does it out of passion, not someone that has an opinion about the dog they had 20 years ago. I am NOT discrediting the knowledge we earn from having dogs, that is definitely knowledge of its own! I do however hear the craziest “facts” about dogs, and they almost always come from feeds and google searches. Why not have an educated trainer on speed dial instead?!? (I’m pretty sure I’m on a lot of speed dial lists now days…)
So this is really helpful for everyone, and anyone, but more so for those of us that may be struggling with an appropriate level of assertion with our dogs. You will stand next to someone (once a week for example) and they will physically walk you through HOW to best communicate what you want from your dog. There is literally NO downside to this! More often than not, we have no idea we are confusing the crap out of our dogs, and a trainer can help you get a better understanding.
An Outside Perspective!
If your dog is exhibiting a specific behavior (or 30…), and you are just at a loss and “sure you’ve tried everything”, talk to a trainer! Something is missing. Trainers and Behaviorists are skilled in this specific field and can help you figure it out! We are awful about humanizing and over rationalizing why, and what our dogs are doing, so outside perspective is super helpful! Never be afraid to ask for help, “talking dogs” is generally why most of us do our jobs in the first place! If you are sick, and nothing is fixing it, you see a doctor, right?!? It’s the same theory, your at a loss, it doesn’t mean your failing, it means you need help from someone that knows what they are doing, no shame in that!
There are many different options for training, and so many fun activities you can do with your four legged pal. I covered a guide to choosing private, and group style classes, but it’s a good idea to let a trainer weigh in on that choice too! Like I said above, we often over rationalize what our dogs are up to, so sometimes we are too close to the problem to make the best choice! If a scheduled set of classes are not in the cards for you, look for balanced Seminars! They are a great way to need new trainers while gaining solid information! I LOVE hosting these!
Make a list of training facilities that seem interesting, call, make appointments or drop in to meet the trainers on staff. You want to find someone you are confident can help you build a good relationship with your pal! It’s so important that YOU like the trainer you pick, so you can have an awesome experience gaining new skills, and great advice. I personally have attended classes with multiple trainers, and I’m sure I always will! Education (factually based) is always a benefit, and even after 10 years I will learn something new at each and every class I attend with my pups. Take advantage of the info a trainer can offer you, never be afraid to solicit educated help, we all love our dogs!