The Value of the Initial Behavior Consultation
In my 26-year career as a dog trainer, I have always found value in the initial behavior consultation.
A solid dog training program should always begin with an initial behavior consultation. This is not necessarily a dog training session, though the trainer may handle your dog during the consultation. Rather, it’s an opportunity for the trainer to assess your dog’s temperament, listen to your concerns, find out what your training goals are, and finally, provide you with a road map of exactly how you’ll get there. In fact, a Canine Trade Group dog trainer will essentially tell their client EXACTLY how to train their dog during the initial meeting, including what variables to expect. Once that information is on the table, it’s the decision of both the trainer and the client about moving forward.
Some trainers feel that the consultation isn’t really necessary, in fact, I was listening to a trainer who has a local radio show who was saying just that. He feels that he can get a handle on most dog issues in just one session, so why waste the time?
I couldn’t disagree more. Sure, any competent trainer can get a handle on most dog (mis)behavior in a short period of time, and our trainers are no different. But I think this approach is completely unfair to the dog because his person has not been properly prepared to follow through with what the trainer is doing, and one of the biggest values in our consultations is to educate the dog’s owner on not only what the training plan is, but the theory behind why we are doing it, and why it will work. This is the way to achieve lasting, rather than temporary, change. You’ll see the same seemingly amazing and instant results in your first formal training session with your trainer, only you’ll also know how to maintain those results over the long term.
Ultimately, no lasting behavior change occurs unless the client is ready, willing, and able to follow through. The initial behavior consultation gives you a chance to see what will be involved, and to make an informed decision about moving forward. Regardless of your decision, you’ll learn exactly why your dog is behaving this why, and what needs to be done about it. This makes you better informed and better prepared for the future with your dog.
Ready to find out why your dog is making such poor behavior choices, and what you can do about it? Contact us to schedule an initial behavior consultation, or to ask more questions!