Friday, January 4, 2013


In 2012, the training business had to be put mostly on the back-burner as we prepared for the arrival of our daughter. However, now that things have settled down a bit, my mind is back in training overdrive. Ever since the Beyond the Myth event (see previous post), I have been truly inspired to do more. This year, I really feel that a lot of positive changes are on the way.

One of the things that I hope to focus harder on in 2013 is educating the public. Not just educating, but making an active effort not to alienate those who need me. It took a lot of soul-searching to realize that I had, in some ways, gotten on the wrong path... but what's important is that I do see it. Over the years, I feel that I've helped a lot of dog owners create a loving relationship and happy coexistence with their once-troubled pets but there are also a few that I can't help but feel I failed.

As a trainer, it really doesn't matter what I can or can't accomplish with a dog. What matters is what I can accomplish with a dog owner. More than once, I've seen amazing progress with someone's pet only to be absolutely baffled that they didn't see it themselves. But the reality is, it is my job to make sure they do see it. And if they aren't as thrilled with their dog's progress as I am, then I haven't done a very good job helping them to understand the process that it takes to meet their goals.

In past years, I've lost a few clients who had extremely difficult dogs even though I saw them making great progress. Obviously, their owners did not see the same thing. I believe it's human nature to want instant results, and that is part of the problem; people want their dogs fixed yesterday. On the other hand, I've said many times before that it's much easier to have patience when you know that something is working. If a dog owner doesn't truly understand their dog's behavior or the method of training, then patience is extremely hard to come by. That understanding must come through me as well as their dog.

Another focus this year will be open-mindedness. After speaking with a fellow trainer who has very different beliefs/philosophies than myself, I realized how much I need to work on this in particular. While the other trainer and I disagree on very fundamental levels, I also consider it a great advantage to be able to communicate with him as civil human beings and hope to continue doing so.

Big changes are on the way as far as how I train, tackle controversial issues and work to educate the public. As always, I'll be writing about every bit of it along the way. And speaking of writing, I do want to give everyone a heads up that the blog/business name may soon be changing. I'll make sure to provide more details as they become available.

Thanks for reading and I wish you and your pets a very Happy New Year!

No comments:

Post a Comment