How Long Will This Take?

How Long Will This Take?

So you just came to a facility for a training consult, you have lots of questions for the trainers and want to have answers. As you begin to ask questions, you get to the one that you want to know most; How long will this take to fix? How many privates does my dog need? Can we fix this today or just with one lesson? What is this going to cost me both in money and time?

Unfortunately, we do not have answers for these questions and may never have the answers. Sadly, many people come to a facility and perceive our jobs as trainers with some magic wand or pill that will fix their dog’s behaviors. At PAWS, we aren’t a quick fix facility. We want to work through your relationship, not just a behavior. Behavior concerns are a reflection of our relationship, our communication, our leadership, and our teamwork. So why do we feel that there is a quick fix? Why do we want to have someone fix our dog, when in most cases we are the ones that need the help. Yes, that’s right, us the owners are the problem and the solution. We are the ones we, as trainers, look to.

So let’s discuss the top 5 reasons many people seek a trainer and the solution. I’d bet we can find one consistent variable in both the issue and the solution.

Problem Dog One: My dog does not know how to socially interact with others, I take him to the dog park.

The Question We Ask: What kind of socialization did your dog have during their socialization period as a puppy? Why does your dog HAVE to socialize with others?

The Solution: Time

Problem Dog Two: My dog pulls me on the leash.

The Questions We Ask: Where do you walk your dog? What have you done to communicate clearly on the leash? What is it about your walks that are frustrating?

The Solution: Time

Problem Dog Three: My dog chews, begs, and has no house manners.

The Questions We Ask: What boundaries have you created in your home? Is your dog leashed and/or crated during times you can not watch them? What freedoms does your dog have, but have not earned?

The Solution: Time

Problem Dog Four: My dog needs to listen to me better.

The Questions We Ask: What is your relationship like? What is it that you feel your dog does not listen with? Why do you feel your dog does not listen?

The Solution: Time

Problem Dog Five: My dog has bad behavior in public.

The Question We Ask: Why do you feel your dog is bad in public? What have you worked on in regards to public manners?

The Solution: Time


Okay, so at this point, if we still have your attention, you are probably frustrated that we did not give a solution, I would be. I am reading a blog to HELP me with my dog and I want solutions. But is there really one single solution, one thing, one way to “fix” these behaviors? Did you take notice to the two consistent in each scenario? Time and “My dog”. Why does it fall on my dog has an issue, my dog has this problem, my dog yada yada. This IS a relationship correct, and every relationship has two parties, so when we say my dog, shouldn’t we really be looking at ourselves too? Where did we fall short, where are we not being honest in our relationship?

You see, many times we wait till there is a problem rather than being proactive about the potential for a problem and essentially preventing a behavior. This is especially seen with dogs. I mean come on, we are only human and in our society today we have a mentality that what isn’t broken doesn’t need fixed. But what we don’t consider, is the time our puppies require during their early learning period that sets them up for success during their lifetime. We assume that our adorable sweet 8 week old puppy is just acting as such, but when those puppy behaviors begin to follow into their early years, how long can we truly use the excuse that they are “still a puppy”. Do we consider though the time they deserve and require to be set up for success, happiness, and pure fulfillment?

Time. It is a simple. Taking the time to be proactive, to set our dogs up for the success they deserve. Taking what we learn and applying it to our routine. It isn’t about setting aside time to do the homework, or feeling obligated to go to classes, lessons, or simply to take our dog for a walk. Rather, if we create boundaries from the beginning, set routine and structure to our puppies lives just as we do with our children (bedtimes, homework, earning freedoms, discipline, sending them to school, work ethic) we may find that our puppies grow to be magnificent, balanced, relaxed creatures with a desirable relationship that shines through. This, this is what we strive through. Fun, mutual love, mutual respect, and a healthy relationship….let’s say this again…a healthy relationship based on trust, loyalty, follow through, and honesty.

We look to you, as owners, to ask yourself how much time, commitment, and passion am I willing to put into my companion; into my relationship; and into the future, no the lifetime of our companions. To lead them to be successful, to guide them to understand, and to put in the teamwork they deserve to be the best they can be with us by their side.

So set aside the questions of how long, how much, how quick? And begin to ask when do we start?