This is number nine in Christy’s series of articles on encouraging the best behavior from your canine companion. The full series is called The Top 10 Training Traps and How to Avoid Them and you can read the rest of Christy’s outstanding advice here!
When you get stuck, you turn to friends, relatives, vets, groomers, daycare providers, retail clerks, books, TV shows, Internet, etc. And then you get really, really overloaded and confused. And you’re still stuck.
Dog training is a profession, not a hobby. Many of us work very hard to provide the best possible services to these wonderful companions and their caring parent/owner/guardians (POGs). We now have lots of smart people releasing tons of new information from science- and research-based studies to help us. BUT…
With all of the misinformation, outdated thinking, old wives’ tales, conflicting opinions and opposing philosophies out there, it can be impossible for a non-professional to sort it out without assistance.
Start treating your dog—and the training profession—with more respect!
There are people out there who are knowledgeable, informed and eager to share what they know.
That being said, it’s still important to do your homework. Make sure the person you approach is a real DLSI/trainer and not someone who is doing this on the side, as a favor, has only trained his own dogs, etc. Ask for referrals, ask to sit in on a class to see if you are comfortable with the approach.
Also make sure the person you are considering is continuing to educate him/herself. The only way to keep providing the best possible service is to keep searching for more and new information and insights, continually asking how to do it better, to question everything so one never gets complacent.
That’s the way I do it, and there are plenty of other DLSIs/trainers equally as dedicated to their craft. So you need to search us out! Ask lots of questions — if the answers are unsatisfying or evasive, keep looking.
For more on how to find a knowledgeable professional, see my article Find the Right Trainer.
Christy Paxton is the owner of Hand in Paw: Rewards-based Training for You and Your Dog and Cat, based in Brook Park.