"Properly trained, man can be a dog's best friend" ~ Corey Ford
After my initial visit with the owner(s) of any dog that I'm working with, I usually have a pretty good idea of what I need to work on and a full check list in my head on how to get started. I will even tell the owners step by step details about my plan and why I approach it the way I do..until the dog enters the picture and can change even the most perfectly prepared plan. You see, no matter what my goals might be for that day, I can only accomplish a progress if I work with the dog. And if he has decided to be a total goofball that day due to maybe being over aroused, or fearful of the new distractions in the environment or what else might trigger a reaction, my training plan might go straight out the window....and I am ok with that. I have to work with the dog that is right in front of me in that very second. Not the dog I might think I know based on owners description. Not the dog, that I've already worked with last week. Nor the dog that I saw when I came into the house. Nope. I have to work with the dog and his emotional state of mind in that very second. And that is what makes my job fun ..and sometimes very challenging. But there is never any cookie cutter solution for all dogs. So when I might tell you, that I will work on fetch today, but then realizes that your dog doesn't know "drop it" or "stay", well then my plan changes to teach him these basic commands before I can get a successful fetch sessions. And if the fetch game gets him too excited, I might start working on attention exercises instead to calm him down so he can make better choices. All are decisions that I make in the moment, simply based on what your dog tells me. So yes, I do have a plan, but it might change quite hastily. And even though I try to explain the change in procedure to you,the owner, it might come out as alphabet soup, with no real head or tails. But please know that I am not suffering for lack of focus. Quite frankly I am the most focused when I am working your dog, constantly checking body language, mental state and physical state. So just hang in there with me in the moment, watch , observe, while I make a plan that will help your dog progress within the limitation of his current state of mind :)
As a dog trainer and animal lover, my wish is to help educate the owners, so they can have a harmonious relationship with the animal(s) in their lives. A relationship based on knowledge, trust and respect.