get ready to roll. Cause we’re about to go live in five, four, three, two, one. Here we go.
Hey, I like to welcome everybody to the source podcast where we talk everything working dogs. And this is a subject that I’m excited about. Not that I’m just excited about the subject, but I’m excited to what we’re able to offer you as well. So at the end of the podcast, we’re going to give you a resource.
That you can turn to but the catch to that is you got to stay tuned in the podcast to know what the the free offer is so just adding one more element to what we do to bring relative and viable information to our dog people across the country across the world wherever we have viewers at and listeners so i’m happy about that This is what we’ve always wanted to come to is being able to teach and we know that every guest that we have on every week gives us that opportunity but it’s an opportunity for you to learn one thing. And that’s what we always say with these podcasts is that if we can teach one person, one thing we’re happy.
So not only am I on this podcast today, but I have the voice of reason, Mia Simpson with me today. And, , the great thing is, uh, she’s making her debut on a full length episode of The Source, right? She’s like creeper.
I’m usually behind the camera. Right. That’s right. That’s what I’m saying. Like, so like, this is the debut.
I’m happy to discuss this topic with you because I know that it’s an important topic that, , even just doing research that it’s hard to find good guidance in that. And I know the number of people that have come to me and asked me to help them either find a dog or go with them on a visit to a breeder or, what I thought about a trainer that maybe was in their area that they were going to use for a specific purpose.
And, you know, because sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to use us, even though we have great partnerships and great, um, clients around the world, sometimes it’s just makes more sense for you to use a local trainer. So for nothing else, find someone that you can trust and use our guide to, to be able to help you to do that.
So hopefully today we give you a little bit of clarity, some things you need to be looking for, some questions you need to be asking and be able to give you that guidance. And hopefully you think back to this podcast episode and either go back to it. Before you start calling around for trainers or you take the free offer that we’re going to give you at the end and use it, put it on the refrigerator, keep it by the phone, whatever you do.
So we’ll talk more about that in a bit. Yeah, that’s right. So let’s jump right in my, you know, today we’re talking about how to select a trainer, , you know, you can always go to a company like we have, and we have several trainers that work for us. But at the end of the day, you’re generally going to deal with one.
The advantage we have to having multiple trainers is the fact that we always bounce ideas off each other. Whenever, whatever dog we’re working with or whatever client that I’m working with or another trainers working with, it’s inevitable. We never get through a project no matter how short without discussing it with the rest of the team.
And that’s really what I love about. Our were set up is that we always have resources and we have great resources that have talents in many different areas of training that we can call on to say, what do you think about this? Or how would you approach this?
And so it’s the value add to the client in that regard. But at the end of the day, one client, one trainer. And so we want to discuss how do you pick that trainer? With us, we do some of the analyzing for the client and we say this is the best trainer for the job, for what you’re looking for, but not everybody has that luxury.
So they’re calling around, they’re trying to find somebody in their area, they’re like, hey, this is the first dog I’ve ever had to get trained. So I need to. source a trainer that can really help me. So that’s what we’re talking about today, everyone, and we’re going to dig right in and get right into the subject matter and begin to delve into what it looks like when you start that journey of finding the trainer for you for the first time.
And if you’ve never explored this area, it’s, it could be quite overwhelming because, you know, the internet is not always truthful, right? Look, I can say when I first started looking for a trainer for Dottie, you have like the big corporate, , Franchises come up with, um, group classes, with all of these glowing reviews about how much it helped them, things like that.
And then you’ve got, you know, Google listings where there’s no phone number, no address, no website link, and it’s just somebody’s name. And you’re like, who is this person? Where do I find them? How do I get in contact? So when I first started looking for a trainer, it was hard trying to nail down who is legitimate and who just decided one day, you know, they were Run training out of their house.
Yeah, because that’s what a lot of people I don’t think understand in our industry. And it’s unfortunate. I will say that there’s no standards really. There’s no oversight to somebody doing this. There’s no standards of education per se. There’s no board that you have to sign up for in order to meet the qualifications to be, to call yourself a trainer.
Um, and it’s kind of remarkable that it’s such a booming industry yet. We don’t have those standards. Now there are some licenses we’ll talk about, , and things that we’re going to give you some advice on some things you need to look for, for legitimate trainers, to try to help you navigate through the weeds, if you will.
And by no means, are we saying that. When we make these points that this is the catch all be all right, right? Because I remember when I first started because I needed experience after going to a trainer school, I, for about two, two and a half years, I did pro bono work.
Um, but I gave that. Kind of disclaimer up front. And what I said was, Hey, I want to train your dog. I want to help you. I’m not going to charge you for it because I’m gaining experience. Because of that, there’s going to be some bumps in the road. There’s going to be some things that I may need to tap into some of my resources.
I may not have the answers to, but that’s also why I’m not going to charge you. But if you’ll give me the opportunity to train and I went to friends of mine, I went to neighbors. I went to associates of associates to say, Hey, they want their dog train. Can you help them? But I was very cautious about taking money from somebody.
Being sure of my capabilities, even after attending a trainer school, even after going through a handler course, I still knew that I had a lot to learn and. You know, a professional is a professional, right? When you call yourself a professional, we are held to a different standard and professionalism comes from the exchange of money. You’re a high school athlete, you start getting paid, you’re a professional athlete. So, there’s a vast difference there. And I wanted to make sure that I had the qualifications and the assurity that I could perform what I said I could perform, as a trainer.
Um, because up until that point, I didn’t feel right to take people’s money and not feel confident in my abilities to do what. They needed me to do so. I just made that clear up front. So diving into it. You had the opportunity to begin the search to find a trainer, right? So you see it from the client side.
I see it from the business perspective. So we’re going to touch on both areas like. What you should be looking for, you know, from that person as being established. So we’re going to cover that. And then you’re going to cover from a client side. And it’s not just your perspective because you also did some research.
You also talked to other people , that have conducted searches for trainers, and you kind of put all this together in order for us to deliver. To our listeners, viable information, and just not just outside of our opinions. We’re using experience and we’re using other people’s experiences to, to try to give our listeners the guidance they’re looking for and that sound guidance.
Right. Absolutely. Yeah. So like you said, I came across custom canine unlimited originally because I was looking for a trainer for my dog and. I really had no idea what I was looking for.
Um, I knew that she had some resource guarding issues that I wanted addressed and that’s just not generally something that, they address in like group classes, puppy classes, things like that, \ I had originally put her in. Um, a group class, . I ended up taking her out of it because I saw that the, and this is personal to my dog.
Um, I saw that that was stressing her out more being around all of the other dogs that are barking and hyping each other off and nobody has control of their dog in a group setting, especially, you know, eight to 12 month old puppies. So I ended up deciding that one on ones were the best option for her.
And from there, um, I started looking at a few different companies. And the biggest thing that drew me to CCU right out of the gate, they said, okay, you can bring her in for an evaluation. And I was like, they want me to bring her in for an evaluation. What do they need to evaluate? Like, I just told them what’s wrong with her.
And then I went to the evaluation, um, and the trainer who, First of all, the first thing he did was he like checked all over her body, which again, I was like, what is going on? I was confused. And, um, he explained to me the first thing that they’re going to do that any trainer should do is see if there’s any sort of like injury that could, , you know, hinder the training, any broken teeth, anything like that, that could.
Make their condition worse, whether that’s health wise or behavioral. Um, cause those two can be interlinked sometimes is what I found out. So that was kind of the first thing I noticed when I got there that day, but backing up a little bit, um, what I liked besides the evaluation, the vaccine requirements.
So that again, completely new. The other company was a large corporation and they required, I want to say just rabies. I believe, I could be wrong. Um, so whenever the Kindle Master is asking for, you know, vet records from her vet, not that I’m just like showing her on my phone. I was like, These people take it really serious.
I was like, wow, this is really intense. And then, you know, you find out really quickly that they have all of these steps for a reason and that I, as the client at that time, I had no idea just how much goes into it and how much goes on in the background. Let me just tell you for one, it’s not nothing personal.
From you or your dog. That’s 2nd thing is, it’s our standards. Just put yourself in our shoes. I have X, Y, Z client that complains that their dog got sick at our facility, right? And they got sick from another dog in our facility and I said, well, I can show you every dog that was in the facility.
While your dog was here and they were all 100 percent fully vaccinated to include your dog. But then I had this one dog that I said, just take my word for it. This person gave the vaccinations properly. They adhere to all protocols of temperature and storage of those vaccines before. They administered the vaccines.
And then on top of that, they administered them to the dog properly. Please just take my word for that, because this guy has told me that he’s done them it’s nothing personal, but we want to give all of our clients the assurance that every dog that sets foot in this facility.
Or in our kennel that they are fully 100 percent vaccinated, but also my one thing that I don’t think you even know the other reason, remember, I have trainers that we pay to deal with dogs, and if they get bit by your dog, we also have to give them the assurance that this dog is fully vaccinated as well.
And a lot of people don’t think about that. I didn’t think they get bit. and they got to go through rabies treatments or other things to ensure. I mean, that’s that’s a hardship that one of our staff members have to go through. So it’s just as important. On that case, as it is for all of our clients dogs.
And oftentimes we forget that, that there are communable diseases that can be transferred over to a human. , and we just want to make sure based on our vet’s advice, that we adhere to the highest standards when it comes to medical care and, and bringing dogs into our facility. Um, so yeah, sometimes it gets difficult because people don’t understand, especially like you said, not knowing everything that goes into.
The background on making sure that we try to be as safe as possible for everybody. Yeah, but I think also now, because that wasn’t even something I considered that a boarding facility or a training facility should have because of my lack of knowledge, just in general. But now that I’m knowing what I know, when I look at other boarding facilities or anything like that, and I see their. lacks requirements. I’m like, Ooh, you know, I don’t know that that’s somewhere now that I would feel comfortable
yeah. It’s like the safe driver, right? I don’t care. Like, I feel like my, like my kids are safe drivers, but it’s. Like you always are taught, right? It’s not you. You need to worry about. It’s everybody else on the road in order to be a good driver. You need to be paying attention to everybody else. And, you know, we just for us, we want to give the assurance to each one of our clients that it’s okay.
I had a lady actually, now that we talk about it, she ran a breeding facility. And she called and wanted to get her dogs into training. She wanted to do four weeks of boarding train, which, you know, as you know, is just over 3, 000 to do that. And she did the same thing. I administer my own vaccines and I said, well, I’m sorry, you’re going to have to take them to the vet because that’s the only way we’ll take your dog and she walked away.
You know, it’s very easy for me knowing that we got to meet budgets, right? That, uh, well, let me work it out with you. Let me figure out what we can do. I said, no, I’m sorry. We. Can’t and obviously she wasn’t happy, , you know, ultimately we lose out on 3, 000 because of 150 worth of vaccines.
It’s worth it for us for the assurance of every other client that comes after her Absolutely, and that kind of goes into another thing that I absolutely look for Um, even just observing other people in the industry is just their health standards, you know Are they going to train a dog that obviously is injured?
And post it on social media , are they gonna take the time to make sure the dog is properly taken care of like our group? A couple of weeks after I first started bringing Dottie the trainer actually I was really bad about cutting her nails. She was still little. I wasn’t good at it.
And he, I’d only been to maybe three sessions at that point. And he was like, Hey, you need to trim her nails. And I was like, Oh, okay. I was just like, Oh, okay. Because that really, all of that goes into being a trainer. The health of the dog comes first, a hundred percent. And I have never felt like as a client and now as an employee, I have never felt like custom canine puts.
anything ahead of the dog’s health ever, period, hands down, whether that’s in the kennel or in the training field. Yeah, it’s unfortunate. Sometimes I remember getting a rescue in one time from another trainer that claimed he couldn’t Get the dog out of the crate. So I guess that also resulted in them not feeding the dog either. Per se, and how underweight that dog was and the dog wasn’t even aggressive. And, you know, we kind of joked about, well, I would be pissed off in a crate where I’m not getting fed either.
Right. He’s trying to bite you. Cause he’s hungry, like feed the dog and take care of the dog. And it just bewilders me. How as a trainer, you can see that every day. And I understand sometimes, you know, you don’t notice things, um, when. , something’s going on because you’re involved in it right there, but that’s why you put protocols in place to help you to combat those things, such as a weight management protocol where you weigh the dog every week, where you have other people looking at the dog or when a client brings a dog every single session or handler brings their dog out for a training session, you are watching that dog specifically nose, tail, body, coat, nails, of course.
teeth, gait, ears. If the dog’s head’s twitching, it’s pretty obvious that something’s going on. So you may need to dive in a little bit. Deeper to find out what’s going on. Why is that dog keep shaking its head? And you know, the more you do it, it becomes habit, but those are standards that, that we want you in each of our trainers to adhere to because it prevents so much more for the client.
, so, you know, we also have learned over the years too, by some of our mistakes and, uh, that’s probably the biggest feature, right?
Is thanks. Uh, so I don’t want to sit up here. And talk and pretend like, Oh, you know, everything’s perfect and all this by no means, but we should always learn from those mistakes to try to prevent them for someone else in the future. And these are just things that we’ve learned that we just, we won’t, we won’t budge on because it’s for the wellbeing of everybody involved.
Absolutely. Yeah. Well, and that also goes into another thing that I looked for because I consulted with. 3 or 4 different trainers before choosing and . One of the biggest things I noticed was, uh, big promises in such a short amount of time.
Oh, I had one, um, company tell me that they could get her resource guarding fixed in two weeks, a two week board and train. And I had another company tell me there was absolutely no way they could get it done in that time. And I was looking at at least a month of board and train. And it was just.
One of the biggest things I found as I was searching was there were some people, it almost felt like they were blown stroke a little bit. Hey, I can fix your resource guarding in two weeks and you’ll, you know, I’ll send you home a perfect dog for X amount of dollars.
And that just was not realistic. I knew right off the bat. Whereas when I reached out and did the evaluation for Dottie, Um, the trainer actually told me, and was like, hey, we can work through some stuff, but I can’t give you, you know, a timeline for when this is going to be fixed. Um, you know, I’ll have to see her at the facility, I’ll have to come and see her in your home, in her natural environment, like where she’s at, and they just, the trainers dug so much deeper at CCU than what I found.
In other facilities I talked to or companies I talked to, which is, like I said, another facet of choosing a dog trainer. Are you just going to tell me pretty words and promise the results that you know I want you to promise me? Or are you actually going to deliver those results in a way that’s sustainable and it’s going to be a lifestyle change, rather than the dog behaves for two weeks and then goes back to whatever he’s doing?
Yeah, or you, know, you have to do this, this and this in order for it to work, you know, um, modifying behavior. Right? And there’s a lot of studies on this. You know, let’s pick human behaviors as the line. Right? I speak clear English. You speak clear English. I can tell you to stop smoking.
Right? That’s a habit. Doesn’t mean it’s going to change because I told you to do it or I slapped your hand away. All right. Some people quit smoking pretty quickly. Some take a long time to quit smoking. Some take more invasive measures to teach to not smoke. Um, and, and those habits once embedded. in that dog for one reason or another.
Some change very rapidly and some take more time. You can never speed that process up ever. Not for it to be sustainable. Yes, we can put pain compliance on a dog. You can use all these different things to, to try to do that. But then what’s the result of that later, right? Because what’s the net? Result and what I mean by that is we can deposit all this training right here.
Utilizing techniques or tools and all this stuff, but what is it going to affect later on in 2 or 3 weeks with that dog fear furnace or other behavioral patterns that are created because you tried to fix that 1 issue and. You know, again, we can go back to a ton of studies that just show how much it takes to really truly change behavior.
I tell people this all the time, at the end of the day, the more clients I can get in that door, the more money I make. So it makes more sense for me to try to rush. Or us to rush the, uh, the process, but we truly want sustainable results for our clients.
And with that being said. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to change that behavior, but we’re going to find the best method. We’re going to use all of our resources to dig into that and do whatever it takes, uh, barring the mental and the physical health of that dog. We will never jeopardize that.
And we have clients that are trying to pressure us into doing that. Just do this. Just do that. I’ve seen this on YouTube. I get that. But you don’t know the results of that on certain dogs with certain behaviors. And when you mix things up, sometimes you don’t know the toxicity of that until it hits your nose and you, you die from it.
And in that case, we’re not willing to take those chances because your dog’s not an experiment to us. We, we don’t want to cause more problems by trying to fix this one or two problems that you have. We’ll just take our time, we’ll monitor behavior and we’ll change it as rapidly as it’ll allow us to change it.
And, you know, unfortunately not everybody has the budgets sometimes that it takes, you know, but I have a good trainer friend of mine that used to always say this. I’m a trainer, not a magician.
I can’t wave my magic wand over things and all of a sudden it changes, you know, , he is a long time trainer, um, and , many, many, many dogs and a lot of resources at his disposal. . And, you know, we say that behavior is not changed until it’s relatively permanent and in various environments and circumstances. So, yes, I can change it right here at our facility, but it doesn’t do you any good because you don’t live at our facility.
So it has to transition into all the other environments. If not, it’s not changed. Yeah. That’s one thing that I really noticed when I got my second dog, Giza, was I’ve always thought kind of a little bit simpler. A dog’s a dog. You train a dog. Sit, stay down, whatever.
And then I got my second dog and I was like, wow, this dog is completely different from my first dog. She’s a different breed, but also just like the way she learns is different, the things that she finds value in completely different. Dottie, I could just give her treats and praise and she’s happy do so it took forever to find a toy or a treat that she would work for and she wanted that and that was worth it for her.
And you know, I had to work through that with my trainer. A lot just to figure out, you know, what made her, what to her was a fair payment. Because at the day, that’s one of the biggest things I learned when I was looking for a dog trainer. Training is supposed to be fun. I don’t want to go somewhere and watch a guy snatch my dog around on a leash or zap the e caller over and over.
Cause the dog doesn’t like that. They don’t know what’s going on. What I want to see is the dog having fun. And I can tell you, these dogs love training. They love being there. And I can see, especially with deuce, I see her wheels turning in her head.
Like she’s trying to figure out what’s going on and that’s always so worth it. As a dog owner, because it makes my life easier. Yes, but also to see her fulfilled. Yeah. You, you know, even as a trainer, we build bonds with the dogs that we, we have the opportunity to train and it’s always good to see that dog and that dog perks up and he’s happy to see you.
And we’re like, yeah, you know, like the dog’s engaged. And it’s like a student sitting in your classroom that’s just like happy to be in your classroom to learn something from you. And that’s where you get the best results, right? Because even if we have to correct behavior, it’s never meant to beat the dog down per se.
It’s meant to boost and show clarity to the dog. And, you know, obviously I can go back to the Bible, right? Don’t spare the rod. You can go back to raising kids, right? You can let that kid find out that the stove is hot. Or you can tell them it’s hot, don’t touch it, or you can smack their hand to teach them not to touch it.
But either way, it’s meant in a positive nature so that the person doesn’t get hurt, right? But sometimes, some kids learn by saying, hey, don’t touch that. It’s hot and they don’t some kids. They have to touch the stove and get burned to learn that it’s hot and some kids. You have to smack their hand and say, don’t do that.
But it’s not meant to break their spirit. It’s not meant to. It’s meant to give them clarity and what is right and what is wrong. But if the dog doesn’t understand what’s being taught to them, there’s no way to hold them accountable for that either. So we have to spend a process of bonding and bond.
Giving the dog assurance that they can trust us and also discovering what they like best. Because if Maya Simpson loves to work for me to tell her after each day to say, Hey Maya, you did a great job today. Then I should give her what she wants. But if Maya Simpson wants a salary every week, then I should give her a salary every week.
Right? Think about law enforcement. They’re not in law enforcement for the money and they’re in it because they truly want to help people. And that’s the reward. That’s the true reward that those men and women have. A dog is very similar to that. They work or want to please their owner. For maybe love and affection, some want treats, some want a ball, some want to, you know, play with a rag, you know, but it’s whatever they find enjoyment of and we spend time discovering that as well because we, we want the dog to have value in what they’re doing and the reasons behind why they need to sit down patiently.
Because they’re striving for that love and affection that food reward or that toy reward or other assurances. So, it’s important that we go through those phases as well to, to get to that point.
Was that a cow? No, she groaned like she’s right here. She groaned like that. I don’t know why she does that. She always has. So another thing, um, kind of going back to what we were talking about with correcting a dog, and there are times that they need to be corrected. One of the biggest things that I misunderstood as someone who was originally looking for a trainer was there are so many different avenues of training and each one is going to apply, you know, better or worse to a different dog.
Kind of going back to what we talked about with Dottie and Dusa having completely different learning styles. I liked having a trainer who told me, Hey, we’re not going to say this is out of the picture, not an option. This is still an option, but right now I think this is a better avenue.
So for example, um, I was talking to my trainer, Simon, recently about potentially doing an e caller for Dusa, just, , after we start putting some more OB on her, and he was like, why do you want to put an e caller on him? And I was like, I don’t know, I just figured, you know. We’ll put any color on it. He’s like, no, no, no.
Like, you know, let’s see what we can do ahead of time. Or I feel we can do with training and one on one I’m sorry with training
training and one on one sessions. And then if we need any color, we’ll put any color on it. Now, when I was originally looking for a trainer for Dottie with resource guarding issues, I had a couple of trainers say, no problem, like, we’ll try and e call her on it immediately. They hadn’t met her. They definitely hadn’t evaluated her.
All they knew was what I was telling them, which for all they knew, I could have been completely wrong. I could have had no idea what I was talking about and she wasn’t actually resource guarding, but they were like, yeah, we’ll get an e caller on her and be done with it. Again, things I’ve learned in the year I’ve been training.
I know now, like, there’s a little bit more that goes into it than, hey, let’s slap an e caller on her, hit the remote a couple of times, and you’ll have a perfectly behaved dog. . That’s not realistic, I guess I should say, um, for long term change. Yeah, you know, every tool that we use, we always say that’s something we have to train off of because if you are telling me that you want an obedient dog and modify behaviors, well, that means we’ve truly modified the behavior.
We haven’t patched it with utilizing this tool. Every tool has a specific use where it is beneficial. E callers or remote trainers, whatever term you’re used to hearing, definitely not shot caller, but e trank, uh, yeah, e caller or remote trainer are the proper terms. They, it does have its use case, but there’s a lot that can also go wrong with that.
And for a trainer, not to evaluate the use of the tools or the techniques that they’re using and make a decision based on behavior of the dog versus just what they want to try. I’m the first one to tell you that is absolutely wrong, you know, um, and yes, I can give. Advice all day long. I can do so many podcasts, so many things and talk about training probably for the next year and not cover the same topic just based on experience.
The things that was always hard for us on the reasons why I was so reluctant to do things online was because I never want anybody to take what we’re telling them and say, this is what you do in every single situation. My advice is always to consult with a professional trainer that gets to see the behaviors, gets to see what’s going on, analyze the root cause of what’s going on, see the demeanor and the way your dog learns best, and start modifying behavior.
That is always 100%. My go to when it comes to, Hey, I just want to talk to a trainer and get some advice. Well, here’s my advice. Bring your dog in and let us look at them. Let us see what’s going on so we can give you the best advice. And that best advice might be go to another trainer. Take your dog to a medical facility and get them checked out because we have some other concerns.
It could be, Hey, just do this. You’ll be fine. You know, or you know, there’s a number of reasons why giving phone advice or taking a video and going, let me just try that. I’ve seen so many bad things come out of that, that we’re so cautious about doing that. Just because, especially if we don’t know the dog now, the great thing about it, Maya, is you’re in a situation where we know your dog now.
So you can pick up the phone and go, Hey, this is what I’m doing. And your trainer can go, yeah, I know your dog. I know how your dog learns to do this. And your dog will understand. Oh, okay. Yeah. And I had a couple of times with Simon. I’m like, Hey, this is going on. I need help. I just talked to him at work too.
I’ll be like, Hey, so she started a new thing. I don’t know how to address these. Like, God, try this. If it doesn’t work, we’ll try something else. And I think that’s also one of the benefits to having a trainer that you build a relationship with, um, which obviously I do work for the company. So I do see everyone five days a week.
But. Even whenever I was only a client at the same time, I was seeing the same trainer every week and at the end of every session, I was getting trainer notes, which told me now this could just be a custom can unlimited thing. But as far as I know, it is actually at the end of every session, I would get note emailed to me about which dog they train, what, how long the set was.
What they trained and my homework for the week and I cannot tell you how helpful that was for me because if there was ever any question about how did he correct it or at what point did he correct, you know, how do I address this behavior in the house. I had those notes to reflect back on and kind of.
Review our session, but also review what needs to be done by our next session. Yeah. The, the, the downfall to that Maya is when we talk to a client and they’re like, Hey, the dog’s doing this. Okay. Did you read my notes that I just sent you or that I emailed you? Did you get them? Yeah, I got them. Did you look at them?
Well, no, I just well, it explains clearly what you need to be doing and how we need to modify this behavior. Um, so, you know, it’s good and bad in a lot in a lot of ways. But, you know, the trainer spent a lot of time documenting these things to help and it’s one more form of learning, right? Uh, I was just reading a study today about, , actually about how much it Humans learn from their eyes.
Like the, the statistics are astonishing that on how much, and they said, the study actually said they believe like even half the brain is contributed. The troop is contributed through the eyes. I’m probably saying it wrong, but they said up to half the brain. How did they put it in a way? It was 50, 50 percent of the brain was dedicated to side or learn from site.
Uh, It was astonishing because, but my point behind that is, is you’re told in the training session, so, and then you’re shown in the training session, and then you get to read. So, 2 3rds of that learning process for the owner is through site. Yeah, they’re hearing it, they’re seeing it live and then now they’re reading it again and regurgitating it again.
So, it’s just us also trying to tap into the most. Resources to allow that client to learn as much as possible through our training, because it’s just as much for the, for the owner as it is for the dog. Right? Because we can’t be there all the time. And if habits go back to the same thing that it was doing beforehand, then all the training was for nothing.
Yeah. And I think. This is not a question I would have had before I started training, but a question I would advise people to, I don’t know if this is something you would ask, but just observe. Is the trainer training your dog or is the trainer teaching you how to communicate with your dog? That was the biggest thing with my trainer is he, first of all, he got me very involved with the training, but he also made sure that I understood how to communicate to Dottie and then later to Dusa.
What I needed from them, what they were supposed to do, what this command meant. Whereas, you know, before I wouldn’t have really thought this leash is a tool. That’s not something I ever thought. I put the leash on the dog. We go outside, go for a walk, take the leash off inside. The leash is such a tool more so than anything else really could be.
I would think because of how well I’m able to communicate with the dog, which is in part, because my trainer took the time to make sure that I understood how to communicate effectively. He taught me how to communicate effectively with the leash. And because of that, I was able to take our training plus the homework and do training outside of, um, our sessions, our book sessions, which like you had spoken before, you know, sometimes budget is an issue.
At the time that I originally got Dottie in training, I was still in college. I was very much not, I was making a little bit above minimum wage at that point. And I made. Uh, weekly sessions is what we did once a week for an hour. But during that hour, I was given the tools for the rest of the week to use and the homework for the rest of the week to fill in those times, those gaps.
And obviously at that point, if the trainer has seen any behaviors that made him think I was doing something incorrectly, he could address that too. Yeah, that’s right. And that’s the joy of the one on one sessions is the fact that. Yes, you’re, you’re either going to , attack training 1 or 2 ways, right?
Either you’re going to pay us for our time to do it for you, or you’re going to be a part of it so that you can take away some of that expense by taking on some of the work that we would normally do at our facility or with the trainer, you know, being with you. So, and we, and we try to explain that to our clients, like, 1 on 1 sessions are great.
As long as you do what you’re told to do, we can develop the training plan as necessary. We can modify that training plan to reach your goals. But just remember, it means that you have to put in the work. If not, then you need to pay us to do it. And if you want to pay us to do it, it’s fine. We can do that.
It’s just, it’s going to cost you a little bit more, but if you’re willing to be involved, you’re willing to follow instructions, you can get the same results. But you’ve got to be diligent. You got to be black and white. Like we are, we communicate very clearly with the dog and we’ll teach you how to do that.
You can’t say, okay, I’ll do it and then go home and do something totally opposite and say, well, I’m not getting the results. Well, yeah, because you’re not following instructions. You got to do it and that’s why we get the results we get is because we’re very black and white and we control it. We until we shape the behavior until we get over the curve, uh, the learning plateau, if you will, and go through the chaos of behavioral change and what that takes.
And then we get on the other side of the storm and then we’re like, wow, look at this, but most owners just don’t want to put in that time. And they don’t want to do that. The ones that do are very, very successful and following through with the plan. But we try to educate our peak our clients for that purpose as well.
So that they clearly understand the difference between the programs. Yeah, absolutely. My, if you can, so can we go over let’s say the. Your list of things that you’re looking for in a trainer, right? So we, we did a lot of talking up until this point, given clear explanations to those that are listening or watching, but I want you to kind of give them a recap, if you will, as to those points that you’re going to be looking for in a trainer.
Yeah. So first thing I’m going to look for in a trainer, knowing what I know now, what health requirements do you have for the dog? you know, what are your intake processes, I guess you could say. Are you checking over the dog? Are you checking their vet records? Um, are you looking at the overall health of the dog?
Second thing I’m always going to look for, which I’m very fortunate because I have my forever trainers, but second thing that I would look for if I was looking for a trainer again, can they adjust their training methods based on the dog in front of them? I don’t want to see them using the same training method that works for one dog, but clearly isn’t working for another dog.
Uh, third thing I’m always going to look for, I just want you to be honest. You know, don’t promise big things. Don’t promise you’re going to fix a year’s worth of behavioral issues in a week. I don’t want to hear that. I want to hear that you’re going to give me the tools that I need um, and the behavioral changes my dog needs for a lifestyle change.
I don’t want a quick fix. I want to know that we can make this happen to benefit her life and my life., Also, again, knowing what I know now, I want to know why you’re doing something. So if you, as a trainer, can’t explain to me why You’re suggesting we use treats or why you suggest we use an e caller if there’s a case where a trainer suggests that to me.
I want you to be able to tell me why. Why are you correcting at this point? Why does my dog need to be in a perfect heel? Obviously, we know the answers, but I want you as the trainer to be able to explain it to me because that tells me that you’ve done your research and you have the experience to You know, be hands on a dog with me paying for it.
Hey, that’s a great list. You know, the, the, why it’s so important because, yeah, understanding why you would do this or why you make this decision, you know, or it’s okay to say, I don’t know, but let me. Check with some other resources. Let me get back to you. A client wouldn’t expect that a lot more than you going.
Let me just fumble through this. Let me throw up a bunch of, let me just talk in circles until you get tired, but never really say anything. I’ve heard that countless times. Um, I was interviewing a trainer that. Talk me in circles about what they would do in a certain situation. And I’m thinking you do realize I’m not one of your clients.
Like I know what you’re talking about, like, and I know what the answer should be, but you just really just talk in circles for five minutes about absolutely nothing and never, ever address my real question and I cannot. Stand that. If you don’t know, just say you don’t know. I’m okay with that. Like I will respect you 100% with you saying, you know, I never dealt with that before.
However, I know some people and we talk to them and we get some guidance and if I don’t feel like I can handle this, lemme get it to somebody else and I know they can, but let’s get into it and see what we got and then we can go from there. How about that? And you know, clients would respect that so much more than you just talking around.
You know, you may not know dogs, but you’re not an idiot. And, and I think oftentimes as trainers, we, we talk down to people like they’re idiots because they’re asking us to train their dog 99. 9999 percent of all clients are not idiots, they just, they need help and so we need to help them and show them that we know what we’re talking about by clearly explaining why we’re going to do and take the path we’re taking at this point and if we change it’s because of X, Y, Z, it’s not because, Oh, well that’s not working.
So let’s try this now. Right. That’s not working because of this. And because of that, we’re going to go and do this. But for whatever reason, that doesn’t happen all the time. And, it really gets under my skin sometimes. Um, so a trainer can do everything right. And still be 100 percent wrong because they don’t know why they’re doing it.
And that’s something we preach all the time to our students. Because it’s so important that you know why you’re doing something, not just trying a bunch of stuff out. And it’s a progressive measure to get to a certain point. Where I decide to use this particular tool or this particular approach, even with a board and train, I remember I had a client that said, Hey, I want to just put my dog in boarding train.
And I’m like, why? Well, because, uh, XYZ. And I’m like, you don’t need a board and train. What you need is some more dedicated training to help you one on one to do it. And I think your dog will excel. By you doing one on ones because at the end of the day, I still have to get you to a point where you can handle this dog.
And this just happened to be a civilian client, but they were adamant. Let me throw, you know, seven 30 a week at you. So you can just fix my dog. And I was like, no. We’re not at that point and I don’t really truly believe you need that you need to do your one on one sessions twice a week, which is 198 versus 730 and I think you’ll get better results by going that route instead because that’s truly what I’m seeing with you and your dog and lo and behold, it worked out and that’s the important facet of analyzing behavior, culminating everything that you’re reading with this situation, Having some past knowledge of the dog and the client, and then making informed decisions on, on the training path for this particular client, i.
e. dog and or owner, and that’s so important. So as a recap, you gave five great points, and I know there were some questions that, you know, you say. That people should ask of their trainer, and I think it’s important to go through that because your 1st contact with that trainer is an interview or it should be right.
You should ask knowledgeable questions. You should ask legitimate questions and and ask questions. Not tell the trainer. And we have a lot of clients that do that. They call us and try to tell us what we’re going to do. Or, you know, the dog’s doing this and I want to do this. Well, that’s fine. But what you’re not considering is the thousands of dogs before your dog that we trained and just because you read it or you’ve seen one dog do it doesn’t mean that this dog is going to do it.
Should be trained the same way and um, but there are some questions that you as a client should ask and I want you to kind of go over those and. Um, and I know some of these are compiled from other people as well. You know, you kind of interviewed them and came up with a list of questions that people should ask and maybe some answers that they should probably hear or something along those lines to, to make sure that they’re hearing the correct thing from these trainers.
So, let’s start off with the first question. What’s the first question somebody should ask? So it’s going to depend. I want to go back to what you said. The first time you make contact with your trainer, 100 percent should be an interview. It should feel like an interview, it should feel like he’s asking or she’s asking you a bunch of questions and you don’t know the point of all of them.
Because that tells me, as a client, right there, that this is someone who’s looking out for me long term. They’re looking for that lifestyle change. They’re not looking to make 100, 200, 500 off of me and my dog with no results. First thing that I want someone to ask me, why do you think that’s a problem?
Going back to the why, that’s going to be the biggest one, and it’s going to go both ways. Why do I think it’s a behavioral problem? Why do I think it’s resource guarding as her owner? But also, why do you want to use that training tactic? So that why is going to be the biggest thing. I want them to ask questions.
Um, also, obviously, we kind of touched on this before, what health requirements, you know, need to be met before my dog ever steps ground, whether you run out of your home or if you have a facility. You know, if you run it out of your home and you have pets, I would still expect there to be some sort of health requirements.
Next, I would, you know, I would just ask them quite frankly, maybe if I tell you, I don’t want any taller or I tell you, I only want positive training. What’s your response to that? Are you just going to say, okay, I don’t necessarily want you to say, okay, I want you to tell me what’s best for my dog because you’re the expert.
I don’t need you to say you as the client, you want to do positive only. Okay. I want you to say, I understand that. Um, I’ll take a look at your dog. We’ll see if that’s a method we can use. And if not, we’ll discuss other avenues from there. Because at the end of the day, I want what’s best for my dog, and if she learns better with a different style of training, that’ll be it.
Also, and maybe the most important, is going to be what training do you have? As a trainer, who trained you? What kind of training, what style of training do you receive? And What experience have you gained? We talked about this with Deb actually, um, the Kindle master podcast from last week is, you know, you can go to our Kindle master courses two weeks, right?
But there is so much hands on experience that has to be done before you are actually a Kindle master. That’s that sort of thing is going to apply to a trainer in your client side. I want to know that you’ve been hands on. I don’t want to know that you necessarily took a course online and didn’t have any hands on applications.
If I go to your facility and an out of control dog greets me at the front, jumping all over people, barking, whatever, your dog is your portfolio. Your dogs are your portfolio. Whether that’s client or personal dogs, that’s what I want to see. So I’m going to ask, what training do you have? What experience do you have?
Who’s dogs have you trained? Your own? Your family? Do you have testimonials I can see? Do you have reviews? Are there videos? Do you have social media pages? As a client, there’s a good chance I’ve already scoured your social media. Um, but at the same time, I want to see what you’re proud of. Yeah, you know, and I like that, right?
Because it’s so important that you feel comfort in the person you’re going to work for, uh, work with, and at the same time, it’s important that the person that’s going to work with you is comfortable with you, right? I don’t go to work to have bad days. I go to work because I love doing what I do. I love training.
I love the people I work around. I love the students. I have an opportunity every day to meet and greet in the morning. Thank you. I don’t go to work to have a bad day and I’m darn sure not going to take on a client that I know our personalities don’t match. Furthermore, I had to be quite honest, I’m not training anybody that doesn’t have the best interest of the dog at heart.
If you really want training and you really want to fix these problems, I’m all in 100%. I’m probably going to go overboard. I’m probably going to be the one that’s checking on you. That’s like, Hey, what are we looking at? I’m the one that says, okay, let me go pick up your dog in the middle of the day so I can continue training on some things that I want to work on with you.
because you’re a great client, but if you’re sitting there telling me what to do, you’re sitting there calling it. Oh, I read this on the internet or I heard this or I did this with my last dog. I get that 100%.
I don’t go to the doctor’s office and tell him how to perform surgery. That’s his job. That’s his expertise. Give me the guidance. Tell me what I need doc and I’ll follow your lead and I’m not going to sit there and say, well, I read on the internet that I got cancer. So, And this is the treatment I should have.
Yeah, it’s good to be informed so that you know you’re getting the right answers to the questions you’re asking or at least something along that line, but it should be a two way street, and it should be the fact that you’re truly trying to find the best trainer for you, and I’m a firm believer in that.
find the trainer that, that fits you best. Yes, go into a knowledgeable and somebody that you truly feel that can help you. If the best fit is over there, go over there. I, I 100 percent promote that, but as a client, you also need to kind of let this be an informative and a relationship building conversation in that interview where you can really find out the qualifications of this person.
That is, you’re going to trust to spend a lot of time with your dog and ultimately you’re going to spend a lot of time with. It’s so important. And, you know, I reached out to a couple of other people as well, including some of our law enforcement handlers and they had said, you know, one of their questions is going to be how reliable are your canine?
You can put all of these cool videos out here. You can tell me that, you know, you have X amount accuracy. You can show me your training methods. But what I want to know is how reliable are your canines and what is it going to look like whenever I’m working at one of your dogs that you’ve trained? I know that’s going to apply to the canine handlers, but it’s also going to apply to the civilian side, because if you can put a leash on my dog, , and she walks in a perfect heel beside you, but the minute that I get my hands on the leash, she’s pulling me and everything’s going crazy.
As the trainer, if you can’t relay that information to me properly, um, you know, how to communicate with her, maybe we don’t mesh well. Maybe there’s a better way of communication between the two of us as humans, so that way I can communicate better to her as my dog. Um, you know, what methods are you using to train?
This kind of goes back to what we had talked about. There’s, you know, there’s a line where it becomes there’s a correction and there’s a line where it becomes something else. And as a trainer, you should never be putting a dog in your care in that situation.
You know, even saying that if there is a correction, going back to what I said, tell me why. Tell me what body language you read to know that she was going to, if you’re doing behavior modification, for example, with reactivity and you correct, can you explain to me the timeline of that where you were like, Hey, her body language is changing here.
So I need to correct before this. I’m not a trainer, so I may not be using the right terminology, but, um, you know, that’s kind of the thing I’m going to look at. If you’re going to use certain methods, can you explain to me why those are the best methods for my dog? That why is really it. That should just be the title.
Why? You know, why should I choose your company? Why do you use this training method? Why should, you know, I trust my dog in your care? Whether it’s boarding, training, no matter what, I’ve always known that when my leash, my dog’s leash, goes into the trainer or the kennel tech’s hand, it’s never a concern.
And that is also something, as a client, if you feel unsure, Find someone else, you know, you should have 100 percent faith in the company you’re leaving your dogs with 100 percent their cleanliness, their health, their staffing standards, everything.
Yeah, it’s hard, you know, because, you know, even my wife having dogs, she’s just not going to leave her dogs with anybody. And I’m not to say, and I want people to understand, we’re not looking for perfection, because anytime humans are involved, there’s always human error. involved, right?
But you truly want somebody in their heart that wants the best for your dog. You truly want somebody that has the best interest of your dog always at the forefront. Even if they do wrong, per se, or something happens, you know, it wasn’t anything malicious. It wasn’t because of their standards. It was just because it was an accident.
And that’s that’s so important. Uh, in the, in that case where, you know, I’ve had, uh, had a trainer at one time that went through the trainer’s course, he opened up a kennel and the dog, uh, somebody came into his kennel. He had two gates to not allow the dogs out. Someone left the back gate open. He walks through and as soon as he opens that for the second gate, uh, the dog burst through and was able to get out the second gate and, you know, but, but he had everything in place to make it work.
Yeah, it just, it was an accident. And so do you crucify that guy for that? I say, no, I say it’s an accident, but the client knows what his standards were. The client sees the things that he has in place to prevent certain things from happening, but just like with anything, things fail, things don’t go right.
The, the, the perfect storm happens and something goes wrong. I think it’s just, you want the questions answered in a way that’s reliable, trustworthy, and the person you’re talking to is talking to you with assurance, with confidence, with really that passion that you can read from that body language.
Because most times if it doesn’t feel right in your heart, it’s probably not right. Something’s off. So you should trust that gut feeling and just find someone you have a better feeling with, I guess is the best way after you ask those questions. Absolutely. And you know, even if worst case scenario for any trader, it would be their worst day.
If something happens and the dog, you know, escapes as a client, I just want you to be honest with me. I just want you to say, Hey, this is what happened. And here’s what we’re doing to fix it. And I think that’s again, going back to what we talked about earlier, honesty, you know, just tell me the truth. I don’t need you to blow smoke and mirrors.
I just need you to tell me the truth about what I can expect. So as, as a recap, Maya, you know, for the, to, to reinforce the learning process, right?
You gave us five points on what you’re going to be looking for in a company as a client. Can you recap your questions really quick on those questions? If you’re going to ask. of that company when you do that initial contact and you do that initial interview, if you will. So first thing I’m going to ask is why should I choose your company?
I feel like that’s just getting the first one. I’m not necessarily looking for a company to tell me that they’re the greatest training company that’s ever been. They have revolutionary methods. I’m looking for someone to be honest with me about why my dog fits at their company and why I, as the dog owner, Would fit with their trainer.
Next thing I want to know, or I’m going to ask, what vaccines do you require? what are your health requirements in general? Then I want you to be able to tell me I’m going to ask you, you know, If I tell you I don’t want to do a certain style of training, what’s your response to that? Um, are you going to tell me?
Okay, that’s great. Sure thing. We’ll do whatever the client wants You’re going to tell me hey your dog’s going to benefit if we could use this other style of training That’s less an aversive whatever and then I want to know what training do you or your your staff have whether that’s you as the trainer If you have kennel technicians, if you have a kennel master I want to know what training you have and what experience you have.
That’s a great, you know, and it doesn’t seem like it’s very intense, right? You’re not, this doesn’t take four hours of interview time to get the answers you need. I mean, you went through those questions in a matter of a minute. So it’s going to probably take six or seven minutes, maybe 10 minutes for that person to spend some time to say, Hey, this is what we do.
This is how we do it. These are our standards. And this is what I think that we need to do to start off. How many people contact us in a week that go, I want training. I want to do a boarding train. And my 1st rebuttal is okay. I get that. What are you dealing with? And why do you think a board and train is your best option?
And because I just want to hear what their responses are. And I want to know, like, well, you know, I want to hear something from a client side that goes, well, listen, I, I work. Monday through Friday. I don’t have time. The dog doesn’t get training. So they’re learning all these bad behaviors. And I want to get a good start to my training and then be integrated into the process once we get a good solid handle on this dog.
And you get to learn my dog during that time. Whereas then I can, I feel like I can transition to one on one training at that point. And do this or on the flip side, I need one on one training because I feel like I want to be involved in the training. I want to, you know, be a vital part of that. I can follow instructions and I want to learn and I want to learn with my dog.
And I think it’s a great bonding experience. I think it can be a great hobby for us to come out and train together. And wow, like, that’s that as as a trainer. That’s what I want to hear. I want to hear this is why and I want to get that feedback. What I don’t want to hear is. Yeah. You know, I don’t know.
So, so in this. Conversation thus far we’ve talked about what clients should be looking for in their trainer. What questions they should answer. I want to give a perspective from things I know about the industry and some things that from an industry standard, even though there’s no specific dog trainer licenses per se, , or there’s no industry standards, I don’t have to go to the state and get a license to practice dog training.
Like a pharmacist or even a security guard, but there are some, some things that trainers should have to, to kind of show you that they are a professional, because , there’s absolutely a different standard between being a hobby or dog training, being a hobby and dog training, being a profession.
And there’s a couple of things that we should do as a professional to assure our clients that. We are legitimate and some of that is, is the fact that the first thing I shouldn’t be doing is bashing another company and their training methodologies and what they do or what I’ve heard they’ve done and maybe don’t even have first hand experience about it.
Maybe I heard it from a disgruntled client, maybe they just didn’t get along and then I’m regurgitating that to other people to try to get them to buy into our company. That’s the first thing., As a professional, you don’t do that. In my opinion, you explain to people what you do and what you excel in and what you’re comfortable in doing and allow those people to make informed decisions based on that, not all, not based on how much dirt you can put on somebody else that more than likely, probably not true or a fraction of the truth.
Um, so I’m a big proponent in that. I’m a big proponent and hey, stick to what you know. And even with our trainers, even if we have first hand knowledge, you will never use that as an example on why somebody should use you as their trainer. Okay? Because we’re professionals and we, we should respect what everybody else does because I think everybody in this industry has a purpose, how limited it is or.
How valuable it is will depend on their knowledge and their experience. So in that case, we should support other small businesses and we should not utilize them to obtain work. Because I would just as well say, if you feel more comfortable going over there and they provide the services at the level you like, please, 100%.
Go trend with them because you’re going to enjoy the experience better. If that doesn’t work out for whatever reason, we’re fine to provide some services to you, but I’m not going to use that bad experience to capitalize on that little bit of gain just for that nature. So that would be the first thing I kind of make mention of as a professional.
That from a professional standpoint, if somebody is bashing another company to get your business, stay away from it, it’s going to be a toxic relationship at best. Okay. The other thing that I would say, and I would look for is that company being licensed. Okay. So especially in the state of Georgia and every state’s a little bit different.
Those kennels need to be licensed by the department of agriculture, which holds them to a certain standard and requires them to adhere to certain sanitation standards and things of that nature, which also. allows them to be inspected as many times as the Department of Agriculture sees fit, which we also requires them to pay for that license every year.
So there are some requirements there. That they adhere to by obtaining those licenses. Okay. Now it’s not a license that says they’re qualified to have a kennel. It just says that they’re meeting the state standards. But again, that’s just one element that should be adhered to. But it is just one element to the big overarching. Picture that a trainer is trying to paint for you. Yes. And it, and it doesn’t matter if they’re a big kennel, a small kennel, if it’s one dog, if they are doing it for money, they have to be licensed. By the state department of agriculture.
if they are commercialized, which means they’re taking money for their services. They have to be licensed. The other thing that I would ensure that they have is. Is insurance and again, it’s a legitimate C thing.
Uh, but at the end of the day, all businesses should be insured just like car insurance. And in order to obtain insurance, the insurance evaluates risk, right? So this is the underlying reason why they should have insurance is because that insurance doesn’t want to take on a company where there’s elevated risk.
And outside of their expertise. So what I mean by that is if I wasn’t a dog trainer. And I just wanted to open up a dog business. The first thing they made me do originally on liability insurance was submit our qualifications to them. Why are we qualified to provide dog training? Why are we qualified to handle dogs?
Because again, remember. An insurance company evaluates risk and they don’t want to take on risk or more risk than they have to. So that’s why they require some fact finding in order to give liability insurance. So it’s not because I want a training company to have. Insurance because to spend money, but it’s more for the client’s sake when they go, Oh, they have insurance, which means that at least on face value, somebody looked at some qualifications to say that we’re willing to ensure that and take on that risk.
So again, it’s just one more little piece to the puzzle. It’s not the end all be all, but it’s just one more little click where you go. Okay. We’re starting to lean more towards legitimacy, if you will, because of these things. The next thing that I would look at is what training does their staff members have?
So let me delve into this just a little bit, right? Because. And the reason why I want to make this point is because, because we don’t have standards per se that test us as trainers, we should be obtaining study. We should be obtaining training from reputable schools in order to teach us how to train dogs.
Now, there’s nothing to say you can’t be self taught, but remember when I began this podcast and I started off by saying that for two years, I did, I trained dogs after receiving proper training. I still was not comfortable charging people for dog training and I went to them and asked people if I could train their dogs or help them so that I can learn more.
But I also wouldn’t charge them because I was still learning because the moment I started taking money, I was considered a professional. And when I’m training people’s dogs as a professional, I’m held to a different standard with that. And that training should include for that trainer, and you touched on it a little bit, not just the online book work.
I got to be able to read behavior. I got to be able to feel what that dog feels like. I got to have standards of training that I have developed based on my experience. Right. It’s not by the numbers. It is by what I’m reading from that behavior. And if you think about it, guys, who goes to a psychiatrist that hasn’t had any field work, that’s only read a book about behavior or BF Skinner or Pavlov and goes, okay, well, because I read this book, now I can go train this dog, or I can do behavior mods on this dog, or I can start training protection dogs and.
I’m gonna do this and try this and next thing you know, you have a whole bunch of problems. So my suggestion is, you know, and if somebody finds it rude that you ask these questions and you probably want to stay away from that anyway. But where did you get your training now again? I was self taught, I’ve trained numerous dogs, and then I went and got professional training from here.
You know, that’s training and experience, right? And then I would lean more towards client reviews because maybe the education is not up to par where it should be, okay? But that’s also a personal preference, it’s also one of those things where you just have to evaluate the totality of this.
But some of the things that you might want to look for in their training is this. First and foremost, they should have training in dog care and treatment. How do they care for dogs and how do they treat dogs? They should have specific training about , those topics. Also, dog nutrition. They should be versed in dog nutrition.
First aid. So if something happens on the training field or during training, they know how to take the first aid steps to give you the best advice on how to take care of this. But also. In first aid, it teaches them what to look for when something’s not right. How to examine the body, what the, the physiological, parts of the body are, but also what they should feel like, what they should look like, what the gate is of that dog and what that gate should look like, what’s proper weight for a particular dog, how to.
Assess that and then it will also teach them that they’re not a vet either. So they shouldn’t be diagnosing your dog. They should give you the advice of, hey, something’s not right. Take your dog to the vet to be evaluated and assessed because something’s not. Not right, but they should also be te teaching you as the client what to be looking for.
What are early signs that something is not right. So they should also be , taking time outta training to give you those pointers on what you should be looking for in their urine, in their dedication, in their eating habits, in their drinking habits. How to protect against heat stress, how to protect against bloat, common ailments that we find in our industry.
Should be prevented and talk and talk to you on how to prevent those things to include the trauma that can happen to your dog’s nails if it continues to hit the ground. So you might want to cut them. So, again, how to groom your dog. How do you use the grooming process as a way to examine that dog to keep that dog’s health?
at the highest standards. They should also be trained in dog behavior, how to read dog behavior, because there’s subtle signs that dogs give us in their behavior that tell us what they’re thinking, what they’re doing, or what they’re about to do. And changing behavior starts there. It doesn’t start after the action has happened, and that’s so important for a dog trainer to know.
Next thing, they should have a toolbox of training techniques. And I know that a lot of people believe in positive training. I am one of those people. I know Maya is looking at me crazy. Right? Because. That’s the absolute truth. It absolutely is. But let me tell you what positive training really is. Is positive training the illusion that you’re giving the dog something good such as food?
Or is positive training really something that gives the dog enjoyment, no matter what the object is? So I give this example because of this. If I give the dog food and the dog hates food or it makes it obese, Then I’m just giving the dog something that satisfies my urges and my connotations of being positive because the net result of my training is causing health issues.
Or what if because I feed the dog food rewards all the time, the dog begins to counter surf or dig in your trash can. So now my net process of training has caused other issues for you. So I’ve caused more problems than I have helped the issue because I only believe in giving food reward. Every single reward should be positive for the dog, but I as a trainer should find out what the best.
Reward for that training for that dog is so I should be well versed in techniques to really put that dog in the best environment for their success. They should enjoy training. They should want to please and we should communicate at their level. So guess who, what. Part of that equation determines whether something is positive or negative training.
It is not me as the trainer. It is 100 percent the dog’s responsibility to tell me what they like and don’t like. And it’s up to me as a trainer to read that because , I want to 100 percent give the dog the best. enjoyment possible. That’s what true positive training is, is tapping into the dog psychology to figure out how they best learn, where my net result is not to cause more problems than good.
So I want people to really understand what positive training really is. It’s not my perspective as the trainer is the dog’s perspective, and we have to tap into that. So it’s not the tangible item that you give them that makes it positive. And that’s what a lot of people really, truly believe. And people ask that loaded question.
Do you do positive training? Absolutely. But does that mean I’m going to give your dog food every time? No. Yep. Would it? Absolutely. But I’m also not going to tell you that I’m giving the dog food every time because that may not be the case. They may like a ball. They may like love and affection. They may not like any of that, but I don’t know that.
But what I can guarantee you is every single moment is meant to put the dog in the best learning environment for itself. And it’s my job as a trainer to figure out what that is 100 percent so that the dog can be successful and learn from the process in the best way possible. So, again, a trainer that has been taught many techniques and is willing to do what’s best for the dog in every single case.
Contrary to your influences or to your beliefs or to what you think is best. If it aligns with the training process, absolutely. If it aligns with what I’m reading from the dog, absolutely. But I will not be swayed by you telling me what to do because I know the consequences of doing that. And, and, and we’ve been in those situations and we’ve lost clients, but at the end of the day, we will not sacrifice that.
And we don’t take those chances. Because it’s not worth it by any means to do that. And then lastly, they should go through a course that tests them both , in written exams and in practical exams. So reliability comes from head knowledge, but it also comes from application as well as a dog trainer, and they should attend a course that test both of those and, and there should obviously should be documentation with the course they go through, not that you need to see that, but those are some of the things that I would, if they tell me they got training here, I’m going to look at what their curriculum is for their, in their standards or their trainers, , in order to pass that trainer’s course.
What does that look like? And if you ever have questions, you can reach out to the company they received their certifications from or their training from and ask them, what are your standards for your trainers? And you can find that out pretty easily with any course, probably by, you know, some quick emails or just looking on their website.
Okay. And then lastly, I would ask about the training and experience in the areas that they’re offering training for. And that’s very important. Let me tell you why that’s important. Because if they receive training
for obedience, and they’re telling you that they also do protection training, where do they obtain that experience from? Where do they obtain that training from to address? That specialty training that they’re telling you that they can do. Likewise, even in my case, I’m a very versed trainer, and I’m not saying that in a boastful way, I’m saying that to say, even as much experience that I have, there’s still things that I stay away from and I’ll tell you.
I stay away from hunting dogs. Can I teach a dog to track? Can I teach a dog a task? Can I teach a dog to, sit in a blind still as I heard they’re doing with hunting dogs? Um, yes, I can. The problem is, is I’ve never hunted with a dog. So I don’t have the intimate knowledge and details it takes to truly train that dog to the highest standard because I’m missing pieces to that training because I don’t hunt.
And I don’t hunt with dogs, so I would never take on that task because I’ve never done it. Again, I can teach the dog the task, but because I don’t have the intimate knowledge, there’s bits and pieces that I’m missing. Likewise, I’m a law enforcement person. My background is law enforcement, so I have intimate knowledge on things we can do and things we need to stay away from in training a police dog, because ultimately that handler Even though it looks cool, or even though we can train the dog to do this, doesn’t need to do this because it can lend towards problems for them later on in court or on a deployment because I have that intimate knowledge of that profession, how you deploy with a dog, what a handler goes through, but I don’t have the experience of I know bird dog trainer or somebody that hunts with bird dogs.
So I stay away from it. And we don’t take on those requests as we get several of those a year. So my point behind that is, is making sure that that trainer has the training and experience directly related to the training that they’re providing. And it’s okay to ask what training and experience do you have?
So really quick as a recap, you want to make sure that they’re licensed. They have insurance. They have been trained by a reputable school to be a dog trainer, which includes several points that I won’t list right now and I’ll tell you why here in just a minute. And they also have the training and experience related to the specific area of training that they’re going to provide to you.
The reason why I didn’t mention that and some of the reasons why I told all of you guys listening to this right now to make sure you made it to the end was because Maya put together this great cheat sheet. So what I need you to do is just go to our website, go to the page and find this podcast you can go to the link in the show notes and that’ll bring you straight to this podcast episode and it’s gonna pop up with a PDF download of a cheat sheet on how to choose a trainer and this is gonna be great if you’re a client looking for someone to train your dog or if you’re someone who owns or is thinking of owning a training business.
You need to know what clients look for. You need to know how to market yourself to them. Um, I have to say, even just listening to your points, I didn’t even consider how valuable it was as a client, knowing that you were licensed and insured. On top of that, knowing that the trainers had formal training. Yeah. I mean, it’s um, those are the things that happen in the background and nobody ever sees and the investments that a trainer makes.
That it may never come up in their career, but there’s reasons why, or should be reasons why they do everything,
But as we wrap this up, I just want to reiterate to go to the show notes. Get that cheat sheet, download it, put it on your refrigerator, make sure that you have it when you start looking for your next trainer.
We also want to encourage each of you guys that are listening to us to also seize those opportunities to help somebody else out. So, If they don’t know about this podcast, if they don’t know about these resources, share it with them, send them a little text.
Hey man, listen to this. They’re talking about selecting a trainer and I heard you needed a trainer. Share it on your social media. Those are all avenues where you can pass the torch on and help somebody else out. I promise you they’ll thank you for it because we thank you for being here and listening to us each week.
We’re excited about it, and I got to spend a little bit of time with Maya today, and talking through your perspective, what you researched in order to give everybody that’s listening that best perspective possible and what they should be looking for in their trainer.
It was fun. I’m usually the background. So that’s right, guys. Don’t forget the source podcast coming to you every week on Tuesdays and Fridays. So come back and get your 15 minutes of fame with us on our short sets. . We appreciate each and every one of you guys spending some time with us every week. Thank you guys.