Walter Mencken 8:54 a.m., May 21
Acme K9 Services: Part of what dog training is all about.
The other day I worked with one of my favorite dogs in the whole world, Bobbi the pit. In order to understand the background I have with Bobbi you can read a blog about her story on:
Anyway, suffice it to say that Bobbi has been in my life since she was eight weeks old. We fostered her until she was adopted by Giovanna who later became our friend and when Bobbi needed training she turned to me.
I have been working with Bobbi off and on for over a year now. Between that training and the time she spent with us as a foster dog I have grown to love her very much. Bobbi started having some dog/dog aggression issues and it seemed like no matter what we tried she was not getting better. I was beginning to feel that maybe I was too close to the situation and a new set of eyes was needed to get a new perspective on things. In comes Zoe. (By the way, Bobbi was in Zoe's life at 8 weeks old as well)
Zoe and I have a professional relationship that over time blossomed into friendship. I guess that the friendship cemented itself after we attended the Association of Pet Dog Trainers convention at the same time. Now days we bounce ideas off each other regarding dog training (mostly I'm picking her brain, not the other way around). Zoe is very bright, a wonderful dog trainer, and the kind of person who gives dog training a good name. Today she showed me part of what dog training is all about.
Zoe is the trainer I asked to come into Bobbi's case to take a fresh look at it. Today she gave two hours of her precious time to Bobbi, Bobbi's parents, and me. After the training was over I think we all were happy that Zoe came to check in on Bobbi's case. Bobbi learned a few things, as did her parents and I. Besides the formalities of training I also learned what an important part of training is all about. The dog.
Trainers are an egotistical lot. I think we have to be just to do this job. If we don't have faith in ourselves, and our ability, why on earth would a client or their dog. Confidence is our first tool, and maybe the most important one, in our bag of teaching aids; Dogs read confidence like a book. Because of our confidence and ego we all to often do not ask for help when we should and the bottom line is the dog loses. We have to keep in mind that we don't have all the answers, we can't always find the solution and sometimes we need to ask for help. That doesn't make us any less of a trainer. In fact it might say something about who we really think is important and it's not us or even the client; it is the dog.
Because of Zoe taking her time to come and see Bobbi I think she is on her way to improvement. Zoe is not only my friend, she is a competitor, but she took time today not to make money but to work on the bottom line. Zoe knows what the bottom line is. I hope that I do and I wish more trainers did. All of us got into dog training because we love dogs and want to help them to a better life. We need to remember this. They really are our bottom line.
Thank you Zoe. I've learned a lot from you.