Trainers have a cardinal rule: Don’t get attached. We work extremely hard to practice that rule. We know from experience that the second we allow ourselves to get attached, we lose our objectivity and set ourselves up for a harder time helping the dog. In some cases, we risk failing the dog because we take their behavior personally instead of recognizing it for what it actually is.
But, while we work very hard to remain detached and unemotional with our clients, the fact is, we’re human, and sometimes, we meet dogs that just reach right into the core of us and make us want to do everything in our power to protect them. We get attached – we can’t help it – and even though we know we’re setting ourselves up for a much harder effort to help the dog, we take the case anyway and give everything we’ve got.
While getting attached does mean we have to work harder to help your dog, it does not mean that we can’t still be objective. Speaking only for myself, I know that if my dog was in trouble, I would want to have a trainer who isn’t afraid to risk getting attached and connecting with her on those deeper levels. Yes, that trainer would have to work harder to help her, but knowing he or she is just as invested in her recovery as I am would be deeply reassuring to me.
If your dog is troubled and in distress, you want a trainer who is willing to make those connections. Yes, it might take longer to help your dog, but the reassurance you’ll feel knowing your trainer is just as invested in your dog’s recovery as you are will make a huge difference.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on.