We are attempting to help owners (who are not professional dog trainers) have the best and most successful relationship with their dog that THEY are CAPABLE of having.
For those of you that do not know: I was a school teacher for 8 years before I got into dogs. Part of my teaching experience was teaching abroad for 1 year in Ecuador. Before going to Ecuador, I had traveled to Costa Rica to participate in a 3 week long Spanish Immersion program in which I lived with "Tico" families while taking classes for several hours a day. While in Ecuador, I hired a private tutor for 10 sessions to help me with my Spanish. Despite living in Ecuador for a full school year, taking Spanish classes, playing basketball with the locals every Sunday, traveling the country, etc....I NEVER became fluent in Spanish (lol) and... it has gotten WORSE because I no longer use it. I learned and knew enough Spanish to at least travel, get hotels, book adventures, make small conversation, order meals, etc. Despite all the help and the experience, I was not even close to fluent. Why? I was never nor will ever be an "expert" in speaking Spanish. The locals and my tutor of course are/were experts. Also- learning a foreign language is a skill set and apparently one that I am not very good at it (lol). Did I learn a lot of Spanish? YES! Did I enjoy the journey along the way? Absolutely yes! Will I ever be great at speaking Spanish? Absolutely not! LOL. Does that mean it was all for nothing? No way... I learned as much as I could. Do other American teachers become fluent in Spanish while teaching abroad in Latin America? Yes. Not everyone plays at the same level. We all have strengths & weaknesses.
Dog training is very similar for some dog owners: we will absolutely get the dog trained very, very well. We will help owners significantly improve with handling and communicating with their dog, which improves the overall relationship as well; however, the dog may not ever be "as good" with the owner as it is with me and Mary. Why? Dog handling is our profession and communicating with a dog is a skill set that takes time, experience and effort to develop. Do we have owners that handle their dogs just as well as we do? YES!! Of course we do! However, most owners are not going to reach that level of handling. Think of a spectrum 1-10. 1 is a dog that is AWFUL and 10 is a dog that is wonderfully behaved. If a client brings us a dog that is a level #2 or #3 (in other words, a dog that needs A LOT of work), we fully expect that dog to leave our program at a level #10 with myself and Mary. When the dog goes home, we expect the owners to have a success level of anywhere between 8 and 10 with MOST owners being a level 8 or 9. So, yes, things are SIGNIFICANTLY better for both dogs and owners that remain at a level 8 or 9 (compared to a 2 or 3 before training) but it may not be quite as good as that level #10 (as when the dog is with us), but... that is OK 🙂 We don't need perfection 🙂 We need significant improvement 🙂 And again, YES.... some owners will remain at the level #10 with their dogs. They are exceptional handlers that are extremely engaged and consistent with their dogs and the "training homework" we give them.
Any trainer not willing to admit that MOST dogs will almost always perform better (even if it is slightly better) with the trainer than the owner is misleading owners.
One can hire a professional baseball coach and he/she may learn to actually hit a fastball, but that doesn't mean they will be hitting home runs at every bat.
Here at Allegiant K9s, we do our very best to:
1. Be extremely upfront, transparent and honest with our training program, tools, expectations, work involved by the owners post-training, etc.
2. Give dogs all the proper skill sets, boundaries, confidence, accountability, structure, communication and consistency needed to be successful.
3. Show and demonstrate (with real videos) what owners' dogs are capable of.... with very good and consistent handling!! And again... we will do everything we can to teach clients how to be very good and consistent handlers while still understanding our clients are NOT professional dog handlers.
4. Give owners all the proper skill sets, tools, know-how, etc to be successful with their dog. Teach them 1-on-1.
5. Provide as much in-person support as we reasonably can (4 private sessions) & life-time access to our group pack walks.
We want ALL of our clients to be as successful as they can with their dog! We are hear to help you achieve your goals but don’t be hard on yourself if your dog seems “slightly better with trainer Dave or Mary”.... it is our profession.... mine for 9 years and Mary for 2 years... we of course have an advantage just as you have an advantage in your area of expertise with your own career.