Don’t blame the dog
That’s what this dog’s first trainer did.
Imagine sending your dog to a trainer and when you get your dog back, several things are wrong:
- You notice immediately that your dog has scars on his neck.
- Beyond that your dog is incapable of performing basic commands.
- The trainer has the nerve to tell you “your dog is like a dumb blonde in high heels“. Of course this didn’t stop him from keeping the money.
This is exactly what happened to Ouspi’s owners after they sent him to a trainer for what they believed to be an obedience training program to help them live with their young, playful, dog and family, including three young children.
After this experience and by the time they got to me for a consultation they were not only doubtful about their dog and if he would be a good fit with their family, but also very sceptical of dog training, and dog trainers, since they had been burned before.
This video documents, not only Ouspi’s training journey, and the wonderful Dog that he is but also shows several important points about the transfer lesson with his owner Victor.
Dog training & distractions. Reliability is key.
- Firstly, the dog has not seen his owner in three weeks. Ouspi does not know that his human will be there and I march him out, he believes it is just another day in our life together & present him to his owner and of course the dog gets emotionally charged up.
- Then I tell Ouspi to go onto his place and remain there while I explain several important things to Victor.
- I did this so that we would have a chance to chat but more importantly, I did this to demonstrate how controllable Ouspi is even in the presence of what is arguably one of the biggest distractions and emotional charges you can create for a dog in training.
As you can Ouspi did great.
No more pulling on leash
Ouspi used to pull on leash as many dogs do.
You can see in the video that Ouspi has a wonderful heel. He walks nicely on a loose leash, and is both attentive & cooperative.
I then teach Victor how to properly reinforce the heel command and Ouspi again works just as well for Victor as he did for me, his trainer.
We continued through our lesson going over other exercises and concepts, and then we get to the end of our lesson when they are about to go back home together and Victor presents me With a wildcard:
“My dog has never gotten in the vehicle by himself. I always have to lift him in“
“Do you think we can do something about this?”
I reply with “let’s see what’s going on” in order to determine what’s needed to fix it and voilà three minutes later, Ouspi is hopping in and out of the van for myself and then for his owner.
All said and done, pleasantries exchanged, chitchat had between us, and they drove off to go home and begin their new life together.
Ouspi is most definitely not a dumb dog. He’s a wonderful, vibrant, playful, kind, trainable dog who needed a fair chance with clear instruction. He’s actually an easy dog in many respects and was always fun to work with.
He shows not only some really nice obedience and focus but also a real love to work and interact with people which makes training easy if you are a skilled and enthusiastic dog trainer.
It is so easy and such a copout to blame the dog. A dog trainer should be an educator, a coach, and a motivator. We should be guiding & building our dogs up and challenging ourselves to continuously find the right way for the individual dog in front of us.