If you look at the development of the last few years, you will notice that dog schools are springing up like mushrooms. The average dog school usually lasts two years, then it usually disappears again. Why is that?
First of all, you need to know the intention of most people, i.e. the reason why they are getting into the dog training business. It’s the love of dogs! In principle, this approach is a very good one, actually the only good approach that is needed. But to succeed, you have to be able to do more than just teach a dog to sit. You also have to be fit in terms of business management. What is marketing, how do you prove yourself on the market? Many people don’t even ask themselves questions like these. What’s more, the quality is getting worse and worse. People go to a dog school with their four-legged friend to simplify their lives, to have a stress-free life with them. I often meet people who have been going to dog school for years, but the dog can’t even walk easily on the lead, let alone walk past another dog without stress. Then they always say it takes time, you have to make yourself interesting. Customers are kept in line with such clichés. They usually mask the incompetence of the coach.
Many trainers no longer realize that dog training is a craft, not a psychology subject. Time is wasted with “He’s doing it because …”, but very few can solve the problem. What does a dog owner care why his dog barks at another dog, the important thing is to get him out of this bad habit.
Allow me to make a comparison: some couples are married for twenty or thirty years, share a bed and talk to each other. Nobody can claim that if your spouse comes home in a really bad mood and slams the door, you immediately know: “Ah, if he’s like that, then he’s been stuck in traffic”. No, then you have to ask and talk about the reasons for the bad mood.
But many people believe that if they watch a dog for three minutes, they can say that it is insecure or dominant or that it does this because … It is almost arrogant to make such a claim about an alien species. What is also noticeable is the poor quality of their own dogs, trainers often have dogs that don’t even know the basics of dog training. Then they always say it’s “just like that”. What kind of trainer am I if I can’t even manage my own dog that I live with, that must be my calling card. Nobody would go to a dermatologist with acne or a dentist with rotten teeth. But people go to trainers whose dogs are less obedient than the client’s dog. Then there is the dog training area and individualized training. Which is better? It’s like comparing apples with pears. One is used for sporting activities in a localized area, while the other is ideally tailored to your everyday life. Both have advantages and disadvantages. You can’t compare the two – and yet both have their justification.
But what makes a good dog school?
First of all, you have to feel comfortable there, that’s what your good old gut feeling tells you. Then you should see continuous, rapid progress. The explanations should be simple and understandable. If you don’t understand the system yourself, you can’t possibly teach it to your dog. So it should also be easy. If there is no significant change in four to six months, then it has to be said that this is not the right approach. And last but not least: the trainer’s dog. Let the dog show you, but in everyday life. If it works, it’s like a certificate of quality. This should make it easier to find the right dog school – have fun learning and training!