In this rapidly growing world of animal communicators, behaviorists, trainers, and whisperers -Please Beware! Let me tell you that the labels only matter to humans. Proceed with Caution! You may be getting royally ripped off – both financially, informationally, educationally, and with the end result being little to no behavioral changes in your dog or pup!
The dogs can see right through any human salesmanship, circus acts, human certifications and credentials, parlor tricks, or other tomfoolery. The dogs don’t care whether you’ve trained tigers for Barnum Bailey’s during the past five years or worked with dolphins for over nine decades. Dogs also don’t give a rip whether you’ve got several initials behind your name and have taken zillions of years of human schooling or have just crawled out from under a nearby rock.
Dogs care about real communication, real relationships, energy control, and how their amazing senses are functioning in the wide world.
The dogs will know whether a person is calm or pretending to be calm! The dogs will quickly identify who is a natural leader and who is not! The dogs don’t care whether a human communicates well with other humans if they cannot communicate what they want clearly to the dogs. The dogs will know whether a human is afraid of them. The dogs will know whether a human is being mean or coming at them from a place of frustration.
Rule one when looking to hire a behaviorist, trainer, whisperer, etc…Make sure they excel and are leaders in the field!
Dogs will easily manipulate control of their own bodies, the space around them, and many other items if the trainer, communicator, or behaviorist doesn’t know what they are doing.
My clients are always amazed at how fast the dogs can calm down, or how I’m able to not get bit, and they wonder at the extremely quick changes that occur. I jokingly bring up the possibility that maybe their dogs read my testimonials and reviews online and knew they better behave! Dogs will listen and obey or disobey and disrespect depending on our energy and body language…even though they’ve never read the trainer’s website or googled the behaviorist’s testimonials. Dogs don’t care if the trainer comes and works for free or if they charge $500 an hour. They only care about real leadership, energy control, and who is controlling what I call the touch and spatial game (which is real canine communication). THIS is dogspeak. Real communication. The ability to really understand and speak dog.
I see and read and know of countless companies who claim they “speak dog” yet their results are poor. Folks, this is a huge indicator that they actually do NOT speak dog or know dogspeak.
I hear horror stories every single day (and I’m not exaggerating) from my clients concerning their past experiences with other companies. The stories range from terrible tales of overcharging behaviorists who throw treats at the dog to solve real issues (aggression, fear, anxieties) to laughable yarns about cheaper trainers who throw treats at the dog to solve real issues and the classic sort where the former police or military K-9 handler uses all harsh and overboard corrections to “help” their house dog obey. They do not get great results and then they keep suggesting further training for the owners or “If you just take this class…” A majority of my poor clients have been upsold so many times it is ridiculous and makes me quite angry for them. Many of my clients share with me how their prior trainer/behaviorist then proceeds to blame them (the client) at the end for the dog’s problems when the trainer/behaviorist could not get good results! The behaviorist and trainer suddenly has millions of excuses why it’s everyone’s fault but their own shoddy methods! “The pup may outgrow it.” “It’s just a teenage phase.” “What have you done to this dog?!” “You really need to take our leadership class…our growly dog class…our reactive dog class…” Or…”You need to take private sessions with us.” Then during the private sessions the trainer/behaviorist treats the dog exactly like they would in group class settings either throwing treats at them non-stop or giving leash-pop hanging corrections non-stop! What a fiasco.
It’s a horrific cycle. So many good people are getting burned by people who claim to fix everything and have alleged solutions for dog behavioral issues but in reality are cookie-cutter morons who are robbing unknowing dog owners! They don’t know dogspeak. They don’t really speak dog. And they typically end up mistreating their own clients – which then leads their client to me! I then spend a good chunk of my time initially convincing them I’m different from the majority because the majority, the status quo, is largely in the wrong when it comes to real answers for real life situations with real life dogs! How much time, energy, and money could have been saved if the dog owners had known just a bit more about dog psychology and dogspeak and the peaceful canine language?
Looking to hire someone to help your dog or puppy?
Make sure the trainer/behaviorist/whisperer you are considering has fantastic, real reviews. Compare the reviews and testimonials with other training companies! See if the reviews are about solving difficult behavioral issues or if they are more simple, group class, puppy-type stuff. After doing this see how many other pet professionals recommend them! (And, sadly, even then you cannot fully be sure because anyone can put anything online nowadays) I then would highly, highly suggest you read as much about them and their personal philosophy as you can. If it doesn’t line up with common sense and with what you know of mother nature’s ways beware! If the trainer or behaviorist is imbalanced toward one training extreme or the other (“positive-ONLY” or punitive-mostly due to over-fixation on obedience) beware! Seek out balance and calmness! Stay clear of trainers who over-excite dogs and pups! Stay away from external motivators only!
**Even if you have a puppy and think you just want a typical group class contact the trainer/behaviorist who can actually solve or prevent behavioral issues instead of going with status quo group class (believe me – we are few and far between) It will save you big money in the future!**
Then call the trainers and behaviorists and be ready with your questions.
Good questions would include, What do you typically do to treat aggression? Or maybe How would you deal with a fearful dog? Do you use positive or negative reinforcement?> (This last question is sort of a trick because an excellent trainer or behaviorist or whisperer will know that the relationship, the communication, the respect, the trust, the energy level of the dog and the owner all are much more important than positive and negative reinforcement!) (“Positive-only” trainers are extremely limited and short-sighted in their approaches and often lack the great results you are looking for.)
The trainer should understand dogspeak. They should be a fountain overflowing with knowledge about dog body language and what it means. They should also be skilled in human communication because 95% of what I do on a daily basis is teaching the human how to speak dog. Dogspeak is complex as any human language but learning the basics (and starting to get great results in your puppy or dog) can be as simple as A, B, C!
Need help? Call us, we have the best testimonials and reviews of any dog training or behavioral rehab company!!!!! Don’t believe me? Go to http://www.gstevensdogtrainer.com for more info