The topic today is Guarantees in Dog Training. So I’ve heard it said that we as professionals should not guarantee our dog training services? Well, I understand where this is coming from. It’s coming from a place where it’s not easy for us to foresee the future on any particular dog. And because of that, we need to be very careful about the types of things that we’re going to promise.
Now, before I go much further, you should know that to some degree, I do guarantee my work. Anytime that I’m considering taking on a client’s case and helping them with their dog. I need to hear what they’ve got going and what are the problems they’re dealing with. I also want to hear about how much responsibility my clients are willing to take. This is an essential part when it comes to guaranteeing things. At least the way that I train with dogs. If I’m only there for 50 minutes once a week, how can I really ensure that the dog will be able to do the things that I’ve said that the dog would be capable of doing? When there is all this practice that has to be done in between.
So obviously, that would be very difficult for me to be able to do that. However, I feel that it’s my responsibility to deliver the service that my clients are requesting as a professional. Now, I think it’s fair to say that sometimes I hear some pretty outrageous things that people want from their dogs, especially in a concise period of time. I might tell them that it’s a very unrealistic expectation, but we can definitely work towards it.
So when I guarantee the work, what I’m trying to create is a partnership between myself and the client and the dog to make sure that everybody, the dog especially, comes out of this better than they came in. That they’re more knowledgeable and that they understand the boundaries. They are much happier with the relationship they have with their people because of the work that we did.
So what is it that I am guaranteeing? When I see that people really put in a lot of effort to make sure they’re taking my advice. They’re following the training plan that I’m giving them; I feel that they should have some finished product. What does that even mean? Well, they should, for one, understand how to train and communicate with a dog.
So I’m definitely guaranteeing that people will better comprehend non-verbal communication and how to properly associate their words to the things they want dogs to do. What types of things are realistic for them to ask their dogs to do, and how to effectively and efficiently reward and punish. What I’m also saying is if clients put in the work. Their dogs should be able to walk nicely on a leash, should be able to come when called, should be able to stay where they’re told, and should be able to have a nice play relationship.
Does this mean, under all circumstances, it’s possible? No, it means that they’ve started the pathway to getting to that point where the dog can do it in the most familiar circumstances. If my clients and those dogs will continue to train, then greater and greater things can happen.
A Trained Dog
So what I’m really guaranteeing is that people will have the knowledge, and they’ll have started the process of having a trained dog. Now, it takes me a long time to fully train a dog to the level that I want. It might actually take me two to three years for competition. Or maybe even more than that.
But to have a dog that walks nicely on the leash, that comes when called, that will stay in your home and your neighborhood. That is a very attainable goal. But it does take some work to do it well. I’m not saying that every dog trainer should guarantee that a dog will do this. I am saying that, as professionals, I think it’s vital that we make sure we have our clients back. We have the dogs back. And that we get them to a level where they can continue to move forward and grow the relationship.
Because at the end of the day, the most important thing is the relationship between the dog and his handler.