Inside Secrets From A Dog Trainer
Ever wondered about the hidden world of dog trainer sales tatics?
Here's a few tidbits that pet owners rarely are allowed to know.
Attend and watch a class without your dog.
You'll witness how the trainer speaks to and interacts with both ends of the leash. Do the pets and people enjoy themselves? Is there progress made in one class? PS. If the trainer does not allow spectators, there's your answer.
Convenience doesn't matter.
You'll spend additional time driving to a better trainer's class later to fix the convenient, but ineffective, trainer's class.
Do they sell training courses or good training?
Lots of brick and mortar pet stores sell training courses. Its the business model of "let's get feet into the store." Feet in the store does not equal good training, but retail sales do go up.
Dog training franchises do not require any training experience from the franchisor. Enrolling in a franchise training means you trust your pet's lifetime of behavior to someone with dollars and zero experience.
Find a trainer who is solely a trainer.
Not a trainer-dog walker-groomer-take your dog to the dog park driver- pet walker-violinist- aluminum siding salesman. A trainer who depends on only one way to earn a dollar is a better trainer.
Does the trainer mirror your perspectives and attitudes?
If you want a narcissistic, domineering and authoritarian trainer you'll find one. Want a more empathetic, patient and understanding trainer? You'll find one.
Guarantees are sure-fire sales tools.
Most dog trainer guarantees are restricted to you bringing the dog back for more training not a guarantee of the behavior of your dog. Do you want to keep driving to East Way Out There for training you thought you bought? Read the fine print.
If the training sounds too good to be true- it is.
Did the trainer say your aggressive dog that attacks other dogs can be "cured?" Get a written and signed agreement that the trainer is liable for any damage your dog inflicts. Remember: a verifiable street address for the trainer is necessary to serve legal documents; not just a parking lot.
Latest and greatest methods? No!
Methods that have stood the test of time are better than the latest fads. The 'latest and greatest' tools, techniques and systems are likely to fade...or not work on your breed of dog.
No training organization exists that gives owners any real assurance of the trainer's personality, skills or reliability. An organization whose standard for membership is a beating heart is not particularly admirable, now is it?
There is no 'certification' in dog training that means anything, but that a fee was paid. (see above). It’s the individual, the person's character and reputation and experience that matters not a much ballyhooed but illusionary certification.
Does the trainer seem to like people?
Some dog trainers are attracted to dog training to demonstrate how 'right' they are and how 'wrong' others are.
Does the trainer seem to like dogs?
Many trainers came into the field to overpower, overly control and brutalize animals. Just because you love dogs and treat yours well doesn't mean others in the pet industry share your values.
What's your ability to face facts?
A trainer who tells you what you want to hear is kind, understanding and helpful...so you think. This is a psychological ploy to be liked and get more appointments. But is this slathering on of flattery helpful? To some owners, yes. Their ability to confront unhappy truths is so low they do better with a snake oil salesman with a leash than a trainer who points out difficult to hear but accurate facts. Decide which kind of human you are and pick the trainer that suits you.
Your feelings matter.
Pleased when a dog trainer slams your dog's head down and grinds his head into the cement with the choke chain under the trainer's foot? You're a match. If you wrench the leash from the "stomp on the dog's head" trainer and throw him out of the house (AND PLEASE, Don’t pay him!) you are not a match. Training your pet should not cause either of you emotional suffering.
Can you find a trainer that suits you and your dog?
Yes. There are good matches out there for every breed and every owner.
Now that you've had a peek into the closet of the dog training world you'll find the right trainer for you and the dog you love.
PS. Are you SURE you can't get to my classes?