Over the years, I’ve had several people ask me if I could come and train their dog without them being present until near the end of the course. The answer is a resounding NO. Here’s why.
Your trainer’s job is not to train your dog for you. It’s to teach you how to train your dog. We could do all the work for you – of course we could. But that won’t equip you with the tools and the training you need to maintain that training in between the lessons.
Bringing a dog into your life is a lot like bringing a human baby into your life. When you decide to have a baby, you understand there will be sacrifices to make to ensure that child has a happy, healthy, well-adjusted life. You’ll be dealing with teething, potty training, and various childhood illnesses. There will be tuition, books, school supplies, and other education-related costs to pay. There will be recitals and dances and camps and other social events to provide for… The list goes on. When you make the decision to bring a dog into your life, you need to understand right off the bat that you’ll be making many of the same sacrifices. Having a dog requires a life-long commitment to raising and teaching them how to be in the world. It requires you making time for them to ensure they are able to handle whatever life throws at them.
If you can’t dedicate just one hour, once a week to learn how to train your dog – and if you can’t devote at least one hour every day to practice and reinforce those lessons – you should not have a dog. A dog is just as much a family member as the human members. You wouldn’t bring a baby into your life and then expect them to figure out life for themselves; why would you do that to your dog?
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.