Recently I vented a bit on my Facebook page and got some great comments. One in particular made me realize I should explain myself more. Janie asked why I let myself get upset over other dog trainers. She said “If they don’t get it … They don’t get it!” It would be great if I could not care about what other dog trainers are doing, but I can’t. Why?
Let me explain…
As many people know there’s no shortage of dog trainers around. Becoming a dog trainer is pretty simple – all you have do is say you’re a dog trainer and POOF you’re a dog trainer. There are schools and courses that certify trainers (after paying a tuition fee and completing a basic curriculum), but it’s not a requirement to become a dog trainer. In fact, I didn’t get certified or attend a course to learn about dogs. I learned most of what I know on my own by being immersed in it all day, every day for almost 20 years. Being around groups of dogs every day gave me what I like to call “feel.” Feel is what gives me the ability to help the dogs that no one else could. It’s the reason people drive for hours just to come to my canine center. Having this feel gives me job security and keeps my phone ringing with more business then I can handle. But not every dog trainer has this feel.
And that is the problem…
There’s no law stating a dog trainer has to be qualified or have a certain amount of experience before giving behavioral advice to someone with a problem dog. And no one is regulating what’s being said or done by dog trainers. I’d say 4 out of every 5 dogs I see have been told their dog is beyond help and should be euthanized by at least one (if not numerous) other dog trainers. 4 out of 5 – that is 80% of my business. Even if only 10% of those people were told to euthanized their dog that’s too many.
Why do I care so much?
So, why do I care so much about what other dog trainers do? Because I care so much about dogs! As I said before, dog trainers are not regulated and this includes when it comes to life or death situations. Too many dogs are put down because a trainer told their owners that nothing could be done. It’s unforgivable to recommend putting a dog down unless you’re 100% sure their issues can’t be fixed – even if it’s by another dog trainer!