What Is Commitment-Based Training? – Dog Trainer New Haven Blog
When a potential client expresses interest in hiring me to help with their dog’s behavioral problems, the first step is to arrange an initial in-home consultation. What happens here is that I come to the owner’s home to meet them and their dog that needs help. Through this visit, I get a better idea as I see the dog in his/her’s most comfortable environment on what their lifestyle is like and what issues are present. The owner and I discuss what they see the problems are, and sometimes I can point out a few more just by watching the dog during the consultation! What is also important about this initial meeting is that the owner tells me what they would want to accomplish from training, and from that and everything I see and discuss, I give them my assessment on what would be the best course of action for their dog’s training.
The in-home consultation is necessary because it allows me to see what is at hand here, and it also gives everyone the opportunity to assess the other. The owner is telling me about their dog’s problems, but usually they are considering what I have to say to them and whether or not they want to work with me to help their dog. I am there to assess the dog, but in a way, I am also their to assess the owner. The reasons for assessing the owner is similar to the reasons they may be assessing me. An owner is checking to see if I am competent, can handle their dog, and can assist them in meeting their training goals. For me, I am checking to see if the owner is capable of following through with the training, and whether or not they will be a committed owner and handler for their dog.
Of course, I think any client that calls me clearly loves and is committed to their dog. If they didn’t or were not committed to the well-being of their dog, then they never would have picked up the phone in the first place. But moving forward in training takes a whole new level of commitment. This is why I stress to all my clients, at the consultation and all throughout training, that the type of training I offer is commitment-based training.
Many people may be scratching their heads on what I mean by that exactly. Commitment-based training is exactly what it sounds like – training that involves commitment from BOTH parties, the trainer and the owner. I make it clear to clients that I am not here to wave a magic wand and instantly make their dog perfect overnight (it takes time and consistent work!). I am also not here to do ALL the training while they get to watch television or play games on their phones. If I thought that approach would ensure lifetime results, I’d do it. The truth is though, is that the owner has to be part of the training equation as well. The owner must be committed and also work to train their dog, so that the dog learns from their owner and recognizes them as a consistent leader.
Every single client that I work with, I am committed to. But the client must also remain committed to their dog’s training, even when frustration levels may rise, or the dog has a setback every now and then. The training will bring positive changes quickly, but the reason why we work for several weeks is to guarantee that the dog not only LEARNS the better behaviors, but also ADOPTS them as their general behaviors. So while it can be discouraging that your dog may have a major hiccup in their training every now and then, there will certainly be improvement in all other departments.
Every dog is different and works at their own pace, and this is also why I practice commitment-based training. I don’t want to put hard deadlines on the dog’s behavioral progress. We set goals, of course, so that we can work toward them. But if we discover the dog may need another lesson or several more just to guarantee they fully understand what they must do from now on, then we will continue working together until the training goals are met. And I am not the trainer that is going to charge you hundreds of dollars extra for additional sessions or per hour. Money is not the most important thing here – getting the dog behaviorally balanced is, and that is what commitment-based training promotes and has us focus on!
If you think you are ready for commitment-based training, give me a call and we’ll set up our initial consultation. It is completely obligation-free, as the consultation is for us to determine if we would be a good match together in your dog’s training. But once I meet you and your dog, and see that you are a committed owner ready to help their dog find success, I’ll work with you and get the results you and your dog need!
Call 800-649-7297 to schedule an initial in-home consultation, or for any other questions regarding your dog’s training!