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The Heart of the Dog

It isn't enough as a trainer to just teach the dog and their humans... It is so much more than producing robots, cookie cutter training plans, resulting in a dog who can heel and look at you. As a trainer that most often works with service dogs I find a big part of the job is winning the heart of the dog. I often explain it as I can teach a dog to do something and enforce it with an e-collar, prong, and a handful of cookies but am I training a dog who lives to work for their handler? Am I helping dogs to learn to love their job?

It can be hard to differentiate trainers from what you see on the internet, trust me I know. And when it comes to service dogs there is even more that I stress to others on their search. If something happens to your dog is your trainer going to be there for you? Do they have an action plan on how to help your dog after they have been attacked? Do they build a relationship with you and your dog? Do they see you as a dollar sign or do they truly see you and your dog as a part of the family? Do they pretend to know everything or do they humble themselves and admit that something is beyond their knowledge but they will help you find an answer? And what about perfection....? Do they pretend to be perfect, do they sell you guarantees, or do they apologize if they mess up?

I would have all these questions and more to answer if I was looking for a trainer. It can be hard to sift through and it can be even harder to choose. If you are on the fence go meet them, their dogs, and see what you feel in the environment. Have them meet your dog. Does your dog feel comfortable with them..? Does your dog run away from them? Does the trainer bring their self to your dogs level or tower over them?

I personally know that winning the heart of the dog is a big part to a trainer's success. This is why I spend so much time working to build trust, love, and to win their hearts. It's because their heart will help you to train them to love what they do. It's simple. Winning the heart means winning the dog. And when you win the dog... you usually win the humans too.

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