Ever wonder what’s on your trainer’s mind when you’re having a conversation with them? Are they judging you? Yes, but not for what you might think. Here’s a¬†glimpse into my biggest pet peeves¬†… not necessarily in order.
Relatives who call¬†trainers on behalf of their family members
If one of your¬†relatives is stressed out enough to¬†contact¬†a trainer¬†on your behalf you might want to consider hiring¬†one if they approach you to suggest it.
They’re¬†embarrassed¬†when the pet¬†misbehaves during a session.
Much¬†like your doctor expects to see¬†a runny nose¬†when you have a head cold, I¬†expect to¬†experience¬†jumping, growling, mounting, and other nuisance behaviors. While I’d never intentionally trigger an unwanted behavior, if it happens on its own then that’s a good thing.¬†It provides me a window in which to view exactly what’s¬†frustrating you.¬†This information helps me¬†to design a strategy to extinguish those behaviors.
Withholding that they hit their dog.
Much like a detective, I¬†can tell if¬†a dog was struck by the way it behaves.¬†Hiding this from me is sort of like trying to hide an elephant in a cabbage patch. I understand it may have been¬†your last resort, but be honest so I can help you.
Emulating techniques¬†from an alpha-based¬†training show.
These programs are highly edited and¬†many recommendations they suggest are psychologically and physiologically damaging. A¬†dominance-based mindset¬†often makes¬†owners feel as though they’re losing and¬†the pet is winning.¬†This serves to fuel¬†hostility toward the pet, making it quite tempting to use them. However, dominance- and alpha-based training styles can make¬†many behaviors worse and more¬†challenging to treat.
When groomers and vets dispenses¬†poor training advice.
I’m sure¬†these individuals mean well, but if the person hasn’t received formal training in behavior it’s best to consult with a certified behavior expert or veterinary behaviorist. One¬†person told my client her dog’s separation anxiety was¬†fueled by spitefulness.
Separation anxiety is a phobia. Often it involves involuntary physiological¬† symptoms such as elevated blood pressure, diarrhea, extreme terror, and¬†in rare cases even self-mutilation. No animal behaves this way out of spite. Thankfully, the owner reached out to me and I brought on a¬†vet¬†formally trained in behavioral issues for the help it needed.
Afraid to tell me¬†their dog eats table scraps.
There’s nothing wrong with table scraps¬†as long as they’re healthy and the vet approves of the items. For a list of healthy and dangerous foods¬†click here.¬†
They’re¬†afraid to tell me they allow the dog on their bed.¬†
I think sleeping with your pet is a wonderful way to bond.¬†All of my pets are¬†welcome on¬†my furniture¬†— including my bed. It’s your house. You make the rules. However, if the pet displays behavioral issues¬†associated with these surfaces,¬†you might want to reconsider your household rules until you consult with a certified behavior professional.
Believe treats are unnecessary because the dog should work to please.
I like¬†being told I did a great job as much as the next guy, but I also¬†like¬† being¬†paid for my job. For most dogs treats are¬†the highest form of currency. Others might go bonkers over tennis balls or toys. The point is, use what motivates the dog.
Karen Fazio, CDBC¬†is the owner of¬†The Dog Super Nanny¬†professional dog training and is the Director of Behavior at¬†Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital¬†in Monmouth County, NJ. She may be reached at 732-533-9376 or¬†email@example.com