This morning I spoke with two different dog owners who already spent their money on training courses that left them feeling flat and they both abandoned the courses towards the end. Of course now - they are skeptical of dog training in general which makes for an interesting conversation for me since the next trainer they speak to is under a magnifiying glass.
Caller #1 has a Shiba Inu puppy and was horrified at the thought of having to bark at her 3 1/2 month old puppy, use a choke chain and throw discs at it. When she challenged the trainer about this - and pointed out that her dog’s tail was tucked and he was in a corner - he told her “don’t worry - he’s fine”. She called the head of the franchise and gave them heck for what she felt was false advertising. They told her to keep doing what she was instructed to. Of course she knew better than to believe that line when she saw how upset her dog was - she trusted her eyes and cancelled the course.
Another dog owner payed an unreal amount of money for a group class and despite speaking to the trainers beforehand about her concerns about her dog’s behaviour towards other dogs - she was brought into a class full of dogs - not given any real, practical advice on how to handle her dog around other dogs and either told to stay in the corner or told to keep running him through hoops and balance beams.Sound like a plan for success?They then tried to sell her a package of private lessons.
I’ll be up front and tell you that I charge more than these people paid for training - BUT at leaast they would have gotten the results they were after with my training and it would have been money well spent intead of money wasted.Now they will have to pay a 2nd time in order to get the results they were hoping for and promised from the start.They both expressed the regret of their decision and reminded me how important it is to “do it once and do it right”.
I guess to a certain extent I am tooting my own horn and I hope it doesnt come across as arrogant - but I can tell you this after having trained 1000’s of dogs in over 2 decades:Not all trainers are created equally - kust like any other service, professi0n or industry - there are many different levels of “quality” and very often you get what you pay for.Price isn’t the only factor of course but it is an indicator and then you need to do your homework. Also word of mouth is something that I believe in very strongly. I cant tell you how many times I get a call from someone who was out walking their dog having a miserable time with it’s behaviour and they were stopped by one of my clients who offered them my phone nuber or website address.I may or may not hear back from caller number 1, caller number 2 already booked her training program for her dog by the time we ended our conversation. We’ll meet next week and get her dog on track.I completely get the skeptical nature some people have towards dog training in general and especially after they have been burned. No one likes to feel like they’ve been had - I have been there myself and hopefully have learned how to choose wiser the next time.