One of the challenges of dog training is to be sure that we as trainers are using training methods that are reproducible. In other words, professional trainers can accomplish some wonderful tasks with dogs. We have the knowledge, skill, & experience to bring out the best in the dog. But can the dog owner maintain that training? This can be recurring challenge.
If the training received at your location is to be long-lasting, you must find a way to convey your method to the person/s handling the dog after he/she leaves your facility. Sound simple, right?
But remember we live in a society that has to be told that there are peanuts in peanut butter and never to point a loaded gun at anyone! Sometimes the most basic truths just don’t sink in. It’s true of dog training as well.
Clicker training is one of the simplest forms of training. Yet some people will never get it right. The effective use of the clicker depends largely upon timing. Those who have slow response rates will have trouble teaching and/or maintaining clicker training. In fact, some trainers don’t know how to use Positive Reinforcement correctly, let alone passing on proper methods to their clients.
Trainers have the task of being sure our clients understand the proper use of the tools we utilize. Misconceptions and obliviousness abounds. This doesn’t mean people are dumb. It just means that they’re unfamiliar with the things which are so familiar to us as trainers.
We recommend showing the client what the dog has learned, educating them on proper use (even stating that which is obvious to us), and sending the client home with information that they can refer back to, if needed. Follow-up with clients will also aid the situation.
What trainers do isn’t magic, yet it can be intimidating to non-trainers. Trainers should use methods that are easy for the general public to understand. Or least use tools/methods that can be easy learned. Failure to do this will lead to long-term dissatisfaction from clients. Most of what we do is simple – because we, as professionals, understand training methodology and know what makes a dog tick. Many of our clients have little to no clue. Educating the client will be necessary, probably time consuming, and yet rewarding.