In a previous blog post, I addressed how to choose a quality dog trainer. I thought it would be worthwhile to discuss one of the aspects noted in this blog: Beware of “guarantees”!
There are trainers and training companies that guarantee results for your dog’s bad behavior in just one session. “Solve any problem in one hour!” is a bold statement to make. How can they perform such miracle work? Unfortunately a lot of times these professionals use heavy-handed corrections or intimidating body language to suppress the “bad” behaviors. While this may be very effective right away, it can lead to fall-out, particularly when the owners are left alone after just one session. These techniques can lead to increased fear, and even aggression. It is a setup for failure, ultimately.
Behavior results are not something ANYONE can guarantee. Dogs, like people or any other living creature on this planet, have their own desires, needs and drives. No matter what training classes, techniques or methods are done and used, a dog will never have 100% compliance for the rest of his life to be perfectly behaved in all situations. There can be a high rate of compliance, but every dog has an off day–maybe he isn’t feeling well to be able to comply, or the distraction at the moment is just too strong, and more reinforcement at easier steps, in order to build more reliability at harder levels again.
Training doesn’t end with one session, or one class. You wouldn’t send your children to preschool and then never continue her education; the same is true for dogs. It’s a life-long process of maintaining and strengthening the training, and there is always something new to learn! When you retain a quality dog trainer who can help coach you to use positive reinforcement methods that can lay a strong foundation of building trust, and continue on the path of practice with your dog (even just a few minutes a day!), that is where effectiveness lies, and where some of these “guarantees’ fall short.
In the spirit of continuing this discussion and informing you about what Delightful Doggies CAN offer to you, please read my new “My Guarantee” page. I invite you to contact me more about how I can help you and your dog achieve a great lifetime together through methods that are based on trust and respect through fun, effective training sessions!
Owner, Delightful Doggies