The client was trying to make the right decision before she parted with her hard earned money and I was not the only dog trainer she was meeting with.
How did I know? She told me. She then said something that made me laugh out loud. She said:
“You have no letters behind your name. I met with two other trainers and they had letters behind their names.”
“I’m sorry I laughed,” I said “Because this is tricky to explain. I don’t have any letters and probably never will.”
You see, what most people don’t understand is that there are no regulations about becoming a dog trainer. Over the past 20 or so years, some organizations have developed tests and certifications which once you pass you can put some nifty little letters behind your name giving you some credibility.
“Sounds good so far Mr. Amazing Dog Training Man with no letters behind YOUR name,” you may be thinking.
Hang with me a second longer.
The reason I have a problem with the certifications offered is that they have gone “positive reinforcement crazy.” Now, lean in real close because I need to make sure you hear me when I say this.
I love using positive reinforcement. I love being positive. I love positive people (like my wife!). I love doing fun and positive stuff with my dog. I try to be a positive dad and friend.
I read positive books and have been a fan of Zig Ziglar for more years than you can imagine and have seen him speak live three times before he passed away.
BUT DOG TRAINING IS MORE THAN JUST USING POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT!!!
Sorry, didn’t mean to yell. Dog training is using the right technique from the appropriate behavior quadrant at the correct time. If your dog is stealing food off the counter, you CAN’T use Positive Reinforcement unless you want the dog to steal more.
Positive AND negative reinforcement are used to GET a behavior to occur.
Positive and negative punishment are used to STOP a behavior.
Reinforcement is to get a behavior to happen and while I wish I could use a clicker to STOP stealing food off the counter, it won’t work.
So when dog training organizations promote ineffective or confusing dog training methods, I am unimpressed with getting some letters that I can put behind my name.
What I am impressed with are results. Results like this unsolicited testimonial that came in the other day:
“Well Eric, once again you ARE an amazing dog training man. It’s only taken a week and now my dog sits quietly at the café even when his arch enemy, a large Siberian Husky, strolled by today not once but twice I might add. So if I thought it was a fluke the first time the dog walked by, the second walk by which was only a few feet away, was perfect. Tail relaxed, the other dog was relaxed as well, and nothing happened. Of course I rewarded my dog for being so calm. It’s a miracle. The other patrons in the café are also amazed with the change. I can now enjoy my latte after our walks.
Thank you Eric, you’re amazing!”
Rose and Cosmo
What’s better than being able to enjoy a latte with your dog?
Anyway, if letters behind a dog trainer’s name make you feel warm and fuzzy, I say hire that trainer. On the other hand, if you want results, if you want it from a guy that’s out in the trenches day after day, check out the Dog Training Inner Circle.
You can get started for chump change. Really, it’s only $1.00 to get started which you can do by going here NEXT: