This morning I woke up to a box full of emails, not uncommon, but yet again today I had two new people sign up for my group classes. I share this as the sheer number of people needing training for their dogs right now is unprecedented. Heck literally right now as I am writing this another person just registered. I currently have a waitlist to get families started.
I love that so many people are reaching out for help with their dogs, THIS is why I am a dog trainer. Unfortunately for me, my wonderful assistant is out with an injury, which makes the juggle real when it comes to group classes. Anyhow…I digress!
The reason I share all of this is, during the pandemic we saw record-breaking adoptions, we heard reports of there being literally no dogs available. Now we are all on the flip side of that and so many are having problems with their dogs and are giving up without reaching out to a trainer.
So, kudos to all of you out there seeking help for your dogs!
Now you may be wondering why these dogs need help…. Let me tell you!
As a trainer we have seen a shift in the number of dogs that are presenting with behavior issues, normally these are separation anxiety and poor social skills.
Prior to COVID, I could count on one hand how many clients I was helping whose dogs had behavior issues, now it is reversed. I can count on one hand how many do not.
Honestly, it really sucks for everyone involved.
Anyhow, I could go on and on about the need to train your dog. The reality is, you know if your dog needs training, and generally what problems he or she may have.
Unfortunately, if you don't live near me, I can’t give you the skills needed in a blog to best support your dog. BUT if you need assistance with a trainer, I want to give you some tips on finding the right one for you.
#1 Go Positive - using positive methods when dealing with behavior modification can make or break what you are trying to do. Using adverse methods, especially when dealing with a fearful or reactive dog will only compound the issue long term. Using corrections will damage your relationship with your dog, causing them to lose trust in you.
#2 Seek out a training who has knowledge with behavior modification - this does not have to be a certified veterinarian (though if your dog needs this, I would not hesitate), but it should be someone that has skills outside of the normal sit, down, stay.
#3 In-person training - this may sound strange, but when it comes to many behavior modification issues, it is generally best for the owners to do the work. Now, don’t get me wrong, even I offer a (very successful) Stay and Train program. BUT when it comes to certain problems, I am always upfront and tell the owners they are better off having me come to them for the training. Separation anxiety is a good example of this.
You may be thinking, where do I even start to find a trainer to help me… I got you!
Check out www.apdt.com to help get started. Make sure to stalk a trainer’s website to get a feel for what they have to offer. Ask to set up a phone chat so that you can ask questions to make sure that they are a good fit for you and your dog.
ESSENTIAL OIL TIP
You knew that I would not leave you without a good tip for using your oils! This week is no exception. If you are dealing with behavior issues, I will always, always, always recommend diffusing.
Find your dog’s favorite calming doTERRA essential oil and diffuse at least 20 minutes (I know I sound like a broken record with this one…but it is important) prior to training or a potential situation that could cause stress for your dog.
I am all about preventative when at all possible.
If you don’t yet have your own oils and are ready to get started, make sure to reach out and I will help you!
Until Next Week!
All my best ~ Bree
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