Thursday, December 11, 2014

Be the Change to make the Change!

You've all heard the saying "to make change you must be the change" or something along that line.  Well, believe it or not, it also is true for dog training!  In my class, over and over again, I am telling my students to do this, or that.  I take their dogs and let them see that when I do "this" the dog gets it.  In order to work with another living thing, there are understandings that need to be in place.  A dog can only be as good as his handler, plain and simple.  Of course that is barring some heavy behavioral issues of which we need to address outsid of an obedience class.

People often say "my dog flunked obedience school". Oh contrare my friend, it wasn' the dog!  Could be many reasons why folks don't do well in class.   It could be they are not understanding what the trainer is telling them to do - in that case it is up to you to question the trainer!  Never leave your class not "sure" of what you are suppose to be practicing or doing that week.  Talk the trainer after class if need be.    Another reason is they just couldn't do what was being asked because it wasn't comfortable for them to do "that" to their dog.  That's OK, but guess what, if indeed you had done your homework on this training facility by coming to watch a class, talking to folks who have been there before, you woud have known what their philosophy is before hand and kept looking for a school that was a better fit for you.  Yep, again, it's us!   Lastly there are the folks that think they know more than the trainer.  They are the ones that don't listen to suggestions, and then get frustrated when "their way" isn't working, but instead of owning it, blame the program.  That's a tough one for sure, for all parties involved, including the dog.  I am all for a student to say to me, I am going to do it this way because.....why?  Because then I can respond to them about the why's and wherefores of our way, and how his way may not work.  It's important to have conversations with your trainer.  If indeed you and your trainer can't see eye to eye, then a parting of the ways is the best.  You won't get your money back from your class, but you will have learned a life lesson, which is priceless. 

When you do find the perfect class, learn to change.  Your ways may have worked with your last dog, but this one needs something different.  Change is good and will make your relationship with your dog so much better!  Learning to come at your dog with new ideas on training will turn your training from boring to fun!  So be the change and have fun with them their pups!

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