Questions? I’ve got lots of them.
What do you want to get out of training your dog?
What behaviors would you like your dog to do?
How much work do you want to do?
Are you going to do your homework?
Are you patient?
Are you looking for a quick fix?
Will you implement what you learn into your day to day?
The answer to these questions and many more are how I personalize your dog training. In my opinion dog training is extremely personal; what you want from training will not be what the next guardian wants and vice versa. This is how it should be because what goes on at my house is not the same as what goes on at yours.
I’ve probably used this example more times than anything for personalized training. I walked into a new clients home years ago and their very large dog was eating ice cream out of a container on the counter. He had both front legs up there and was quite enjoying himself. Seeing this I calmly asked “is this okay with you?” If the answer was yes then we would move onto something else. Why would I try to teach the owners how to keep their dog off of the counter if they had no intention of enforcing it? What a complete waste of my time. the guardians time and the dogs time.
Basic training is great. Sit, down, stay, come, wait, boundary work, leave it etc. But how and if you’ll use each behavior will differ to everyone and their dog. I use “wait” a lot in my day to day; especially now that Riggs has joined our family. He is one of those guys that needs lots of rules and regulations so he has to wait in many different places. Wait is a casual stay, it is not as strict and can be released from afar. But you might never find a use for “wait” so it is important to go over what will and will not be used. What is and is not a waste of time as far as canine behaviors.
“I want my dog to heel,” my client said years ago. That is until I told him what heel actually meant and what was involved. Heel is something I often hear while out walking my dogs, but rarely see. Meaning that people tell their dog to heel, even though they don’t quite know what that means and they definitely don’t know how to teach it. None of my clients want a heeling dog anymore; they do want a dog that walks on a loose leash which has replaced the whole “heel” thing.
Training takes time and patience. The art of training a dog requires that you the guardian learn how to teach your dog. Sure I can come into your house and train your dog but where does that leave you? A dog trainers job is to teach you to teach your dog. Dogs are super easy, people are not. That is why there should be many, many questions. We are all different, our dogs are all different and our lives with our dogs are just as different from others.
Ask questions and expect questions from your trainer. Ask as many questions you need to feel comfortable. I am a question asker; I like to know about stuff that I want to know about and that is pretty much everything.
Got a question, ask me. I love questions. ;)