What should you tell a trainer when you need help with your beloved dog
Notes from Epic Camp (Board and Train) drop off...
1. I just want my dog to come when called, even off leash, from anywhere
I do Epic Puppy Camps (Board and Train) all the time. I love them. And this always nears the very top of the list when some sends their dog for a little help. This was the entire request with my latest Epic Camper... I just want my dog to come when called off leash....it turns out there were a few more items that should have been listed...
2. Besides off leash recall, what else do you need help with when it comes to your dog?
I get answers like my current 1 year old in Epic Camp: She's a really good dog. She mostly listens. I just love her so much. She was a rescue you know.
Great. What are all the things you'd like help with?
She's a really good dog, I'm just really busy with work and I don't have time to train her.
I really just want her to come when called. From anywhere. I just want her to be an off leash dog.
Awesome. We can do that.
Anything else I should know?
Nope. She's a really good dog. I just love her.
3. How's her leash walking skills?
Oh... well, she pulls on the leash. A lot. She's actually better off leash. Except when she gets distracted I can't trust her. But yah, it's kind of hard to walk her on the leash.
So you'd like leash walking skills to be part of her Epic Camp?
Yeah. That would be great.
4. Where does she stay when you aren't home?
Ummmmm..... She's not good at that. I think she might have some separation anxiety. She barks and whines and pretty much spins out. I either take her with me or she goes to my sister's house and if she's not available she goes to my mom's house. Sometimes she stays at a friends. But no, she's not good alone.
Would you like some help with separation anxiety so that you can go somewhere and your dog is confident to hang in her beautiful beach home alone, perhaps in her own designated space where she can feel comfortable?
Yes. That would be great. It's really hard sometimes when I need to do something last minute and there's no one to watch her for me.
5. How is she with other dogs?
She loves to play. If she sees another dog she starts barking and does everything in her power to get to the other dog. When she sees a dog from the front window, she barks and barks and barks to get to them.
Sounds like you need help with excessive barking, is that correct?
Yeah, I guess maybe I need help with her barking too. I love her you know, but the barking can be non stop and really irritating. I mean I don't mind it so much but it drives my family crazy. Oh yeah, it can be a little embarrassing around clients too.
Ok, help with barking and impulse control around other dogs when it's not an appropriate time to play?
Yeah, that would be great.
6. Where does your dog sleep?
On my bed. But she also gets on all the furniture and I don't mind, although she's 85 pounds and most people in my family don't want her on the furniture. And I really don't want her on the furniture in my friends and clients homes, but she does it anyway.
Alright, so you'd like help with showing her boundaries with furniture?
Yeah, that would be great.
7. What should you tell a trainer when you send you dog to training?
Everything. The above is a typical conversation I have with a lot of people who are seeking training. I send them a form to fill out that asks them to list all the things they need help with... but many fill it out the same way this dog's person did... the entire answer was "not enough time to train an off leash recall".
The truth is, yes your dog is a good dog even with all these less than desirable behaviors. But so many are embarrassed to admit the things that they really need help with.
Honestly, there is no reason to be embarrassed. You didn't do a lot of study on how dogs think and learn. You haven't been training dogs (and their people) for the last 21 years. You need help. So does your dog. Tell the whole story. Get the help you need.
I'm good at asking the right questions. I've been doing it awhile... But seriously, don't try and hide the things you really need help with when it comes to your dog when you get a trainer to help you. That's what I'm here for.
8. Calming the Chaos
Can't send your dog to Epic Camp in San Diego? No worries. I created Calming the Chaos to help you and your dog from anywhere!