Well most of the time the owners think they are going onto the dark side, which includes the methods of flooding, kicking, hanging, yelling at, or hitting your dogs. However, I have personally never met a dog trainer or dog training school that uses these "methods" of dog training. I hear it in the trembling voice on the other end of the phone. Imagine their surprise when they hear or see my methods. That is, if they get that far in the first place.
In order to train at Mannerly Mutts Dog Training there are questions that need answering, contracts that need signing, and I need to truly feel that the client will look out for the best interest of their dog. Otherwise, I am wasting both of our time. I do not waste my time with someone who is not that concerned about their dog. There are plenty of dog trainers around here that are not concerned whether a client does the work or not. Mannerly Mutts is not one of them.
I see many of my clients and their dogs later on. One, because I have selected (yes, even in this economy) my clients carefully. Two, because they want to board their dogs in a house and yard that they are free to use and play in all day long. My clients do not want to NOR need to board their dogs in a kennel. They also know that most all of the dogs who come here have been trained using me, and are off lead trained. This provides for the safety and easy management of conflicts among dog personalities. So I better approve of these clients, as I am going to see them for not only their current dog's life, but most likely the dogs that come along after that in the future.
The "anything" that I want my clients to do, is to want to train, spend time with, and adequately care for their dog. The "anything" that the political faction is talking about is either an urban myth or a method used by dog trainers mistaking themselves as professionals. They are not using anything that has been taught in the carefully constructed plans of famous successful trainers. I study methods such as these everyday, and I don't use my body position or handling abilities to the best affect of the students of the students of the students of these masters yet. They looked so far ahead into what the dogs should and can be doing, that you are practicing for your Utility, as you are doing the Novice. That is, IF you are doing it the way it has been instructed. The main problem with the political faction is that the method has morphed more into "you do not need to train your dog to any standard whatsoever" in order to make your dog's life the most positive and fulfilling that it can be.
Here is the "anything" that students need to do. They need to look to the details of their handling (body position, holding the leash, movement of the shoulders, where the head is) of their dogs in order to excel. Now does everyone NEED to excel in the art of dog training? No they do not, but they do need to do it to the best of their ability. Why do they NEED to do that? To present to the dog the fairest and clearest picture of the foreign language now being introduced to them. I so wish that people would stop thinking of excuses of why they don't NEED to do very simple things, and instead think of what is BEST FOR THEIR DOG. That would make me very happy. Why spend all one's energy arguing about why they don't need to hold the leash handle the correct way? Why not just do it? Of course, I explain why and have a very detailed training manual that explains why. Why not just do it, and see what happens from there? Maybe the results that you could just could be because you did the training properly for the right consistency and clarity to your canine companion?
The people who have done the non or sub standard training are the ones that I hear grumblings from. "I went to a trainer but my dog keeps humping me". "I went to a trainer, and my dog is great unleash unless we pass by something living". "I went to a trainer, but my dog can't walk on surfaces like XYZ". "I went to a trainer, but whenever my dog hears a bell ring he freaks out." "I went to a dog trainer, but Fluffy can't handle it when a dog gets in her face." Dogs aren't perfect, and they are not robots. However, if you have gone through the trouble to get yourself a dog trainer, you should have someone that can coach you to make marked improvement in your dogs behavior. If you are not satisfied that has happened, by all means ask for your money back!! That is if you can also say that you did the homework as instructed. Also if you both agreed that this is something that would be worked on, AND you took the lessons numbers as advised by your trainer. If you didn't, then the only person to blame is yourself, as you will never know what your dog could have done under that instruction. This means you did not try the "anything" that you promised to do.
If I kidnapped you tomorrow, and flew you to an undisclosed foreign civilization how far would you get along in life (you can't get out) if you didn't have someone teach you the customs and language. How safe would you feel? Let's say a normal greeting is grab you, then grab your face, then slurp it. Would you feel a little confused, defensive, or fearful? What if someone stepped in front of the "greeter" stopped them, and started explaining things to you in a way you could understand. Maybe others that are not like you could understand, as well, that you are not accustomed to being greeted like that BUT in time you may learn. Maybe then you wouldn't be put to death for your misunderstanding of the strange customs:)
If you truly would do anything to change your relationship with your dog, give a little training of "that obedience stuff" a try. It's not as trivial or dismissive as others would have you think. It opens worlds and opportunities for your dog that you nor he/her ever thought were possible. It also changes behavior through repetition, feeling safe, and a growing trust in their owner's ability to manage the environment and situation for them.
Are you ready and willing to work with your dog? Call, email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or fill out our client interview form. That will start the process for you and your canine companion.