“I don’t know what’s wrong with my dog. She’s nothing like my old dog!”
Does this sound familiar? I work closely with a network of professional dog trainers, and the other day, while talking with a client of a dog trainer in Atlanta I work with, she made this exact statement. In fact, many of my clients and my trainers’ clients have said, or would agree with, some variation of this statement. Personally, I’ve been a professional dog trainer for over 26 years, which means I’ve been around long enough to be able to tell you that this was not always the case. In fact, this is a statement that I’ve only been hearing for the past 10 years or so.
If you would agree that your current dog’s behavior is far worse than your old dog’s behavior, let’s take a look at this timeline. We’ll assume your previous dog lived an average canine lifespan of about 12-14 years. Let’s also assume you waited a few years to get your next dog, or that your current dog is a few years old. Based on this timeline, you would have been training your former dog in the mid 90s.
The dog training industry was very different at that time. If it’s been 10+ years since you last trained a dog, you’ll likely be searching the Internet for a little help. I ran into a similar situation in my personal life just a few years ago when my daughter was born. It’s been a long time since I’ve cared for a baby – probably a good 20 years. Being so far removed from baby life prompted many a Google search during the first several months of my daughter’s life. Thank goodness for the Internet! Continue reading