Those of you who have had dogs at some point in your life, or who have raised a puppy, understand the importance of teaching your dog the skills and manners that will help him be the best companion he can be. Teaching your dog the right skills is important similar to how teaching our kids the right skills is imperative to prepare them for life's many challenges that lie ahead. Building on good habits with your dog will set you both up for success for the long term. Many attempt this on his or her own while others may want to seek out the advice from a professional trainer.
If I hire a trainer will I see results?
The answer to this question requires some thought and insight into how dog training works, your dog’s temperament, you trainer's abilities, your ability to follow through with your trainer’s recommendations, and your expectations of results. Your trainer will also be a factor as dog training knowledge varies from trainer to trainer. The answer you should be asking is: if i hire a dog trainer, to what extent will I see results? Different types of training have different levels of results.
Dog training at its most basic level is classical conditioning. Pretty much every trainer out there understands classical conditioning. If he or she doesn’t, then he or she should seek a new profession. Help your dog do a behavior that you want and then-Boom!, reward the behavior with the utmost of your attention on timing to help your dog understand that he is on the right track. Practice enough repetitions and your dog is on his way to understanding how to respond to a command. It’s so easy, practically anyone can do it. This is why you can ask a friend, a relative, or even your neighbor across the street about dog training and everyone has some type of tips or other information to offer. This is what leads many to attempt training themselves, but with limited knowledge. The right trainer for you will help you achieve so much more and in much less time.
So, Why hire the right dog trainer?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen dogs and their frustrated owners upset about their dog not listening when they need it most. The worst part is that they may have already been through a dog training program or two. So if they have been through a dog training program, what’s up with the frustration and why does something seem off? To sum it up into one word…Distraction! Many dogs can learn to respond to the commands theirs owners may ask of them and many dogs who have dedicated owners learn to do this well. We practice everyday. We dedicate ourselves to our dog. We make tons of progress. We see our dogs learning, understanding, and responding to us. We feel like we are on the right track to an awesome life with our newly trained dog...And then, Distraction happens! Distractions take our dog’s attention away from us and then we find ourselves completely powerless in getting our dog to listen to us. Some call their dog stubborn. Some call them untrainable, or say they have selective hearing. I say dogs will be dogs and unless you help your dog truly understand you, prepare for a lifetime of frustration. Anyone can classically condition a dog to respond to commands and then practice repetitions out the wazoo until the dog knows it well. But not just anyone can help you overcome the real challenges you are facing. This is why there are soooo many trainers. This is why you most likely have a friend, relative, or neighbor who thinks they know a thing or two about dog training. The right trainer is who you need to seek out. You see, plenty of trainers can help you get to the point to where your dog responds well to you, but not just any trainer can help you learn to enjoy your dog to the fullest extent around life’s realistic levels of distraction.
What is it you want to get out of training your dog?
Some people assume that training their dog will fix everything but the fact of the matter is that all dogs need guidance from you! It would be false to think that once you train your dog that you can be hands off and your dog will take it from there on auto-pilot becuase he's "now trained" and will always see to it that he's a "good dog". The truth is that dogs will be dogs and even the most trained pet dogs will still need guidance from you! Don't be fooled by those dogs who seem that they are easy and think that is representative of all dogs. Very few pet dogs allow us the ability to be hands off or passive and not have any issues to deal with. These dogs are out there but they are not representative of most dogs. To hire the right trainer for you, you need to identify what it is that you want to get out of training your dog. You should also be realistic in what is practical for your situation. The right trainer will help you understand what is possible and what is likely for you before you start training.
So you've done your homework. You've researched and talked to many trainers in your area. You've found the right trainer for you and you are ready to get started. The rest will be easy from here, right? Regardless of your newly hired trainer's knowledge and ability, you should plan to be hands on with helping your dog learn. I can't emphasize enough the importance of you following through with your goals of helping your dog learn. This requires an active daily approach to working with your dog. Just the act of hiring a trainer and working with your dog for a short time is not enough. Plan on dedicating yourself to your dog for the long run.
If you hire a dog trainer, will you see results? The answer is most likely a yes, absolutely you should see some level of result. But, are they the results you are looking for? Are the results to the extent that they can help you in your day to day life with your dog? You should start with clear expectations of what it is your are looking to accomplish before you do your homework in understanding how to hire the right trainer.
If you hire a trainer, you will see some level of result but why settle for less. If you hire the right trainer, you should experience results to the extent that you can enjoy your dog much more during the easy times and well as the tough times.