Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

A local trainer who I admire recently shared this post on her Facebook page. It was written by a trainer/author in Canada.  I love the message and thought that members of the training group would too.  I just ordered the author's book...I'll let everyone know how it is.

Lets be honest: There are good trainers, okay trainers, and bad trainers.
Regardless of tool used, good trainers have happy and trained dogs and poor trainers
don't. They might have one of the two; happy or trained.
A good trainer is not limited by what is in their pockets, or what equipment they use. The
only tool that they need is their mind. With their mind they can motivate, they can
condition, they can control and they can train. They possess feel and timing; knowing
what to give, when, and how much.
They can see what they like, and motivate the dog to give them more of it. They can
minimize what they don't like, by building an alternate behaviour or emotion, or just
asking that it goes away. They make their dogs believers- that they are the best in the
world, and that their relationship can take them through thick and thin. The weakest dog
will look strong beside them, and the strongest dog will look proud, and contained.
They know when to push for more. They know when to settle for less. And they know
when to call it a night. They know when to rush in and help their dogs, and they know
when to let their dogs work it out.
There are no recipes for training dogs. Nor are there any absolute rules. We must
sometimes break our own rules to reach our goals.
Some dogs need to be allowed to have certain bad behaviours that we never allow,
because taking it away will make the dog a shadow of his former self. If that badness is
the only oomph that the dog has, it needs to stay until more oomph is created. Specific
badness is sometimes needed to grow confidence, however, your control must be taught
at the same time so these dogs don't explode on you once your confidence building is a
success! And I would only advise doing this under the advise of a veteran, successful
We must know not to insult a strong dog with gushy crooning praise, unless it is done at
home, in private, when they might secretly love it.
We must know to believe the praise that we speak to an intelligent dog, otherwise we are
lying to them.
We must know the give and take when getting a control-freak bitch to cooperate with our
own agenda.
We must also know how to make that same control-freak bitch love us, when she doesn't
need us. She must want us, and we must be worthy in order for that to happen.
Training a dog is a relationship, the same as it is with a child, a partner, or anyone else
that is intimately in your life. While there are rules, everyone might need to be broken in
certain scenarios. And what worked brilliantly on Monday might be completely wrong
and offensive for tuesday - only your feel and timing will guide you on the difference.
The relationship is everything. If you have a good relationship with your dog they will be
happy, and clear in understanding regardless of what tools you do, or do not, use. If you
have a poor relationship, you can make the kindest tool a weapon, or the most violent tool
a reward.
Don't be so naive to judge by training tools. Rather, listen to what the dog's say about
how they are being trained. They will tell you the truth. Today one client sounded harsh
to his dog, and as he made these very tough commands come out of his mouth, his dog's
face went soft, and his bum wiggled, giving his soft owner away. Listen to the dogs -
they will tell you. I've seen many a kind, ball toting person whose dog tells a very
different, sadder, story.
The relationship tells all. Let us no longer judge. Rather, let us listen to the dogs.
Monique Anstee
Victoria, BC

Views: 111

Replies to This Discussion

I love this, and so much of it resonates with me. 

That is so wise...thank you so much for posting this!

Well I love this too. I mean all studies agree that the single most important factor in the success of any type of counselling is the relationship. I believe the same for dogs. Relationships predict success. Yes, I love this.

WOW!  I love this. I have no skill in this area, so it makes me even more in awe of those successful trainers and the results they can achieve.



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