Shop Carefully For Your Companion Dog Trainer
I recently learned that a couple of young women familiar to me four months ago started a dog walking and training business. Their prior dog walking experience was in a local shelter, and neither by their own admission, have any dog training experience.
In spite of having no experience teaching even basic obedience their website makes the following claims:
Dog Behaviour Assessment
Real Solutions in real time for unwanted dog behaviour(s)
- Food Aggression
- Basic Obedience
Rates were ⅓ of what the local price is for an experienced dog trainer of my calibre.
Just to be crystal clear, from their own mouths to my ears – NO EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER
This type of fraud is by no means the exception.
Dog training is not an actual profession nor is it a trade, both of which are strictly regulated. To become a legal professional or tradesperson requires some serious formal study. One can just not call themselves a physician, a nurse, an architect, or a plumber or an electrician. Anyone however can call themselves a dog trainer, a dog behaviourist, claim experience working with some very serious behaviour problems without a speck of experience or expertise.
The reality is that what one can do is be pumping gas one day and call themselves a professional dog trainer the next. Or as these young women have chosen to do, work at a shelter and become dog walkers and professional dog trainers the next. In spite having no experience, they can advertise that they have expertise far beyond even basic obedience training and experiment on someone else’s dog while charging them for the pleasure.
I did speak to one of them about the ethics of such claims, not to mention the danger to their clients, their client’s dogs and themselves. She had no problem with the ethics. It seems their business motto is Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware.
The example above is the norm, not the exception. My region is flooded by amateurs looking to make grocery money doing something based on no more than a love of dogs. I have seen some take a weekend seminar and Monday morning order business cards that describe themselves as behaviourists.
These unethical “dog trainers” learn, if they learn at all, through the mistakes they make practising on companion dog owner’s dogs. When they take courses, they take what they learned over the weekend and practice again on client’s dogs, instead of under the guidance of a seasoned professional. Almost all have less than five years part-time experience, and they typically include as years of dog training experience the moment they laid eyes on their pet dog.
You can always find a lower price for whatever it is you are shopping for but none more so than dog training and you will get what you pay for and sadly, so will your dog.