The road to recovery can be long and an uphill climb, tiring, de motivating and depressing, so those that you see who have worked wonders with their dog; they really have put in the work!
I see people coming to me with their dog, they love this dog and they really want things to work, but maybe their dog is aggressive, reactive or phobic. It is a hard call for me because I need to assess the dog and assess the people, many times I can see the dog can be rehabilitated but I am not sure the people have the stamina to push through the behaviours long enough and come out the other side.
This make a big difference to how I conduct the training and how I write the program, I used to think that getting their dog to show just how fast he can train to the owners was the best way hands down. I have found though that people go home, can’t replicate the same level of success and feel hopeless.
I have tried to limit how far I take the dog now a little and try and include the saying “if you perfected it up in a few seconds I would be wondering how it has taken me twenty plus years”
Many times when people get home all charged up and receive the program, actually implementing it into their lives, often against the dogs will is a challenge. We are all so busy these days if anything doesn’t pay off immediately, well sometimes it looks like its hopeless all over again.
The reason I write this article is that, from time to time, people tell of how I helped them with their dog and now their dog is great, problems all gone, a pleasure to live with. It is very nice to hear this praise and kind words but the real hero here is the client, not me.
Yes they are happy and smiling now, but they too had their days where all felt hopeless, I try and talk to them through emails and phone calls to keep them going but, it is a certain type of person that doesn’t give up, that believes in their dog, my program and themselves and pushes through those tough times and strives to succeed.
Some people of course don’t get there, that really is sad for them and their dog but there really is no shame in it, it isn’t easy, it isn’t quick and it isn’t rewarding until the end. I build in risk management strategies into my programs so at least these people can keep their dog safe.
The people that do triumph though, wow do they get a shot of confidence, many of them go onto bigger and better things with their dogs, competition, instructing, more dogs and helping others.
Not enough light shines on these people, they get my respect every time I see them and their dog!
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