The Webster household is into DIY.
We rewired our house in Philadelphia without it becoming a home perm project. Our yard is filled with homemade agility equipment. I even cut my own hair for years.
So why would we work with a professional dog trainer? Why not just rely on the dozens of books on my shelf by Pat Miller, Suzanne Clothier, Patricia McConnell, and Ian Dunbar?
7 Reasons to Hire a Dog Trainer
1. We can’t see what a stranger can.
Do you ever find yourself puzzling over something just to have someone else come along and solve the riddle? Your dog trainer can see things about you and your dog that are hidden from you.
If you lean over every time you call your dog, you may not realize your body language is communicating something you don’t want it to.
But your trainer will.
Yeah, you can work with your dog every day on your own. But will you?
There’s nothing like having to show your progress to the trainer at the end of the week to get you scheduling those practice sessions.
3. A trainer has seen it all.
How many dogs have you had? Four? Ten? One?
A professional dog trainer may have worked with hundreds of dogs. He’s not going to pass out when you tell him your dog eats poop… as it’s coming out of the cat.
4. A trainer reminds you to take your time.
Training goes slowly. You’ll make progress and you’ll have setbacks.
Your trainer will remind you of this. And encourage you to be calm and patient.
Why? Because she’s going home to her well-trained dogs and won’t be the one ordering Chinese carry out after your dog, during one of his setbacks, snags the chicken off the counter.
5. To gain access to the “tricks.”
You know how most people teach a dog to sit? They shout sit, sit, SIT! And don’t understand why the dog doesn’t do it.
You know how a trainer teaches a dog to sit? They move a really stinky treat up and over a dog’s nose until his balance shifts and he sits. Or they wait until the dog sits on his own, clicks to mark the behavior, and gives a treat. Or they… well, I’m not privy to all the secrets.
6. To learn more about how a dog thinks.
When our trainer suggested we get Honey to jump through the bicycle cart I wanted her to ride in, I didn’t get it.
But I get it now.
Not only did jumping through the cart teach Honey not to fear being trapped, it gave her something fun to do with the cart. And it’s absolutely impossible to be anything but happy when you’re jumping (unless the jump is out of an airplane after the movie villain took your parachute).
Don’t believe me? Try it. Jump or skip a few times while trying to scowl. I’ll wait.
See, you couldn’t do it, could you?
7. Your dog is worth a pro.
Hey, I think it’s great to train your dog yourself. It should be a part of your life together and will improve your bond day by day.
But isn’t your dog worth a few weeks or months learning how to unleash his full potential?
The Proof is In the Video
I have no video of Honey’s first training sessions. She was so frightened I didn’t want to increase her stress by introducing the camera.
She feared the Doggy Ride bike cart so much she once passed up a piece of salami because she’d have to put her head in past her comfort level. And we couldn’t get her to walk on a flat plywood board, much less walk up a moving ramp.
But I have some video now. Come back tomorrow for the debut of Something Wagging Productions starring Honey and co-starring Chérie.
You’ll laugh. You’ll cry (well, probably not). You’ll shout for joy!
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