Do Not Buy or Adopt Sight Unseen
Thoughts on Paying For Training
Posted by Kathrine Breeden February 4, 2014
Sometimes potential clients tell me that they can’t afford my services for their newly acquired puppy or dog (maybe a rescue/shelter/adopted adult dog) and these are some things I recommend they consider:
More dogs are put to sleep for behavioral reasons than health reasons.
In other words, dogs die because of the way they behave. So, when people get a puppy if they don’t know how to properly potty train her she might end up banished to the back yard where she starts unwanted behaviors such as excessive digging, barking, destructive behavior and guarding/aggression. All these things can land her in the shelter.
All those things can usually be avoided – unless the dog has some sort of congenital defect.
Proper Socialization is essential and yet many people have no idea how to approach it OR that it takes place during the puppy’s first 16 weeks of life.
There is research now suggesting it is the first 12 weeks that are the most important. Doesn’t give you very long does it?
Most people pay thousands of dollars on their dog’s veterinarian bills – without batting an eyelid but when it comes to training they often balk.
My fees pale into insignificance when averaged out over the life of the dog, coming out at about $20 per year for the average dog for just one 2 hr session. That 2 hr session alone can help owners avoid many of the major pitfalls.
How is that possible? Do I train that puppy or dog in 2 hrs? No!! But I do educate the owners and give them a ton of useful information, knowledge, references and demonstrations which enable them to communicate more effectively with their pets.
Here are some of the expenses that people routinely find themselves forking out:
- Vet bills for x-rays & medications for ingestion of foreign objects or stomach upset from getting in the trash or stealing inappropriate food (“counter surfing”)
- Vet bills for a dog injured when she barged out of the front door and ran away
- Vet bills for a dog or person bitten by their aggressive dog
- Vet bills for other dogs in the household being injured during fights
- Carpet cleaning – over & over AGAIN (and the pee stains always come back up through the pad don’t they?!)
- Replacing furniture and other items (remote controls, shoes, carpets, doors & walls etc) destroyed by puppies and dogs Marking or suffering from Separation Anxiety
- Extensive training to try to modify behaviors that never would have started had the dog had proper training as a puppy
- Landscaping – replacing plants, turf, patio furniture, sprinkler heads (whole sprinkler systems sometimes) and pool equipment
- Buying expensive equipment such as shock collars and anti bark collars – to treat behaviors which could have been avoided from the start or modified using effective humane training and no batteries or stress to the animal
Many people routinely find themselves dealing with the stress and embarrassment of some of the following situations, all of which could be avoided from the start or modified using effective humane training:
- Apologizing profusely to guests because their dog is jumping all over them
- Apologizing to neighbors because their dog is barking non-stop while they’re at work
- Walking down the street with a barking lunging demon on the end of the leash
- Chasing their dog around the yard because she won’t come when called
- Trying to stop their dog from barking continuously at the neighbors and/or their dog on the other side of the fence
- Being distracted while driving because their dog is barking non-stop.
- Being distracted while driving because their dog is barfing, drooling and pacing
- Finding themselves unable to enjoy pool-time because their dog is racing around the perimeter barking, jumping in whenever she likes and scratching the kids.
These are just a few of the common problems people face – the list is endless!
People often blame the dog – thinking she’s just a “bad” or “stubborn” or “stupid” dog. This is a mistake.
The dogs are just a product of the environment they live in and responding to the information they’re given. So many times the poor dog is just being set up to fail and they don’t stand a chance.
So I say, STOP and consider how you could have probably avoided all those expenses, and future ones, by consulting a professional Force Free Trainer!!!
Authorized for re-posting by Kathrine Breeden at Be Kind To Dogs Kathrine is an Animal Behavior Consultant