Doggy NewsTeam H&H News

What’s is the key thing about being a dog trainer?

People will always remember how you made them feel, this for me, is a key thing about being a dog trainer.

I hear a lot of people saying how they really dislike working with the general public and let me tell you that if you don’t like people being a teacher isn’t for you. Often when you meet clients for the first time they are feeling like they are not doing a good job, lacking in confidence in their ability and feeling vulnerable. Yes we are there to train a dog BUT a lot of the job is about building the confidence of a client and therefore having a good client relationship is key.

Now don’t get me wrong there is a certain amount of clicking with your client and sometimes you don’t gel-that’s life. But, I’ve attended classes both for dogs and humans where people are seen to be dismissed, belittled and generally made to feel bad. The thing is, this is the absolute worst outcome for the dog. If the human feels bad, they won’t practise, they won’t make progress and so a vicious circle ensues where the behaviour gets worse and the client feels hopeless.

Now here’s the thing, you can’t be afraid of telling a client that they are doing it wrong. Particularly if it involves the welfare of the dog. However, I strongly believe that HOW you deliver this information will have a huge impact on the outcome of the relationship between dog and owner. Let’s take loose lead walking for example, Not any easy thing to master. A lot of it is about timing and often a client is holding a dog so tight that there’s absolutely no way the dog or the owner can get it right.

So I observe for a moment or so. Then I stop and tell them the great things I’ve seen (even if these things are small), I say X & Y were fab have you tried Z and slowly through the power of R+ (positive reinforcement) we start to make changes. The thing is you can’t change every aspect in one session. Even if only small I want both client and dog to leave feeling a sense of achievement.

I can guarantee people are much more likely to practise outside of class if they leave feeling happy than if they are made to feel small and silly. Don’t underestimate the power of encouragement. In fact I challenge you today to praise your dog for something good they have done, If you don’t have a dog praise another human.

Let’s spread some positivity first thing this morning!

Happy Monday!

You got this!!