Any industry probably has its share of strange advice, but I can’t think of any more so than the dog industry. Do bakers and cake makers hear odd little gems? What about builders, and accountants? (To be fair, I’m pretty sure doctors and nurses have it just as bad).
There is definitely something about some dog professionals which creates a Milgram effect. (If you haven’t heard of it, read it here https://www.simplypsychology.org/milgram.html - fascinating look at the influence of authority on behaviour)
It’s hard, isn’t it, when you are faced with someone telling you to do something. Does our good old Britishness get in the way sometimes where we are too polite to argue? Or does it happen when we are so desperate for answers that we will try anything to make it better?
And how can you tell the difference between thinking-outside-the-box (vital for those tricky cases) and unjustifiable?
2 Do your research
Lots of the real dog experts - the people I would go to and trust with my own dog - are often gentle and sensitive, and less flashy, so they can be easy to overlook. Get someone qualified (ABTC registered), experienced, and who has the real skills to help you with your specific problem
3 Be honest
For my clients, I try to make sure that they are happy with the plan we had created together - but I am also very honest in what they need to do to make they changes they want. If you are not honest with me, how can I know where we are going wrong or where it won’t work?
4 Put you and your dog first
If you are listening to something in horror, walk away. Don’t put up with the stress of a bad training plan for yourself, and don’t inflict the stress on your dog too - especially if pain or punishment is involved
5 Listen to your gut
Lots of the time, those that come to me already have the right answer because of their gut feeling - they just need some tweaks or help putting a plan into place. You should finish a session with a professional feeling happy, relived, and heard.
Knowledge + Intuition = power.
PS I would LOVE to know if you have any other odd pieces of dog advice - or if there are any myths in your industry!
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