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Finding The Dog Trainer Who Will REALLY Help You!

Iris Smolkovič
Finding help with your dog can be intimidating and confusing. 
When we start to look for information on anything related to dogs, we can be bombarded with conflicting advice and quickly become overwhelmed. Be that before we get a dog or after we already have one. This applies to all areas, from health, nutrition to canine coaching. In this blog we will focus on the latter.

People, your friends and family who have dogs as well as dog trainers and behaviourists might tell you: “You must do this, you must do that... So, what is your issue again? Here is a specific protocol you must follow until you succeed... It is not working? Well, you must have not tried hard enough. You haven’t followed it to the point.” This can be daunting, you are left feeling like a failure and this doesn’t help your self-esteem either. From here onwards it is hard to find motivation to continue.

The thing is every dog is an individual. What works for one, doesn’t work for the other. There are general principles, but using the exact same steps won’t bring the same results for everyone.

You are an individual too. You have every right to set your own rules around sharing your life with a dog and don’t let anyone else’s opinions on e.g. where your dog sleeps affect how you feel about being a dog guardian. There are still many who advocate for harsh, outdated, but also ineffective and damaging methods. They might say you should never sleep with your dog and to let the puppy cry out when being left on his own in the dark.

How did you feel after reading the previous sentence?
What To Look For & What To Ignore!
Don’t take advice that makes you cringe. Don’t give in to the pressure of “you must this” or “you must that”.
Don’t believe in quick magic fixes.

Walk away from those who don’t show respect to you or your dog, who make you feel guilty or responsible for the issues.

You might have made choices that were not optimal because you didn’t know better. And yes, we are responsible for our dogs, but not everything is down to us, it can be the dogs’ history and genetics that played the bigger part. We might have been responsible for choosing a dog that is more demanding than we were ready for, but he is in our life now and by seeking help you are already making a big step. Dogs that struggle (often labelled as challenging dogs) are those who teach us the most and make us grow as dog people. Or just people.

So find people who have a flexible approach, who are trying to understand you, your dog and the situation you are in. People who make you feel comfortable, encourage you and believe in the two of you, both you and your dog. People whose approach resonates with you. Those who will listen, cheer you on and celebrate small victories with you. In the end it will be worth it. If it is not ok, it is not the end.

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