Welcome to my journey! This blog is about my adventures in dog training, pet therapy work, rescue work and life with my menagerie of animals. Enjoy!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Confessions of a Dog Trainer

So, I often hear "It's nice to know trainers have to deal with the same issues we do" and I often also hear "of course your dog can do it, you're a trainer"

Well let me fill you in on a secret: many trainers have very naughty, misbehaving, issue ridden dogs! The reason for this isn't that we are "bad" trainers (although that could be the case in a few scenarios), it's often that as trainers we take on the "challenging" dogs or we have so many dogs and only so little time. In short...we are just like the average pet owner. We struggle with time management, setting priorities and goals and being guilty of lazy pet parenting!

So in the interest of full disclosure I have three dogs with many issues; some serious, some not so serious. Here they are in all their glory!

Sadie: Barking/jumping in excitement
           Difficult to settle down in social settings/over arousal
           Mild resource guarding with other dogs and occasionally people
           Needs further work on basic obedience manners

Jojen: Terrible jumper for attention
          overly motivated by food (difficult to use food to train with as he gets too wound up)
          Goes from 0-60 with not much in between (he has no real calm setting!)

Beanie: Reactive on leash walks
             Barks at EVERY SINGLE THING (real or imagined)

There are of course other little things they do that are naughty or undesirable, but these behaviors are the ones that I will work on, most everything else can be handled through management (closing bedroom doors to ward off puppy chewers, keep counters clean of food, etc.)

So the next time you look at your dog and think you are the only one with a crazy, misbehaving dog, just remember, your trainer probably does too and because of that is in a great position to empathize and help you through it!

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