Why training matters
I so clearly remember the early days of the covid pandemic. I’d just started a new, part time job and I was planning to build up my dog training business. Then suddenly, everything I had booked in was cancelled and nearly gave up the whole thing. I decided that nobody would be interested in dog training with such a crisis going on – and I stopped thinking so much about my business, I stopped marketing it and I let it drift for ages while I felt stressed, overwhelmed, and scared of what would happen if I caught this new bug. After a while I realised something important and life changing.
I realised that at times of crisis, dog training is more important than ever. We saw it during the pandemic. At a time when nothing was certain and everybody was scared, people reacted by getting dogs. For the first time I can remember, rescue centres were empty. Some UK based rescues who are normally filled with dogs in the UK needing new homes brought dogs in from Europe. So many people wanted puppies that there were many, many more produced at that time. The phrase pandemic puppy was born. People turned to dogs in that time of crisis.
Now the pandemic puppies are young adult dogs and lots of them run off chasing wildlife or put their nose down and follow scent trails left by other animals. Some of them pull on the lead. Some of them are frustrating to walk. Lots of the time these problems are due to prey drive which commonly starts to be seen as dogs become young adults.
Dogs are the most amazing companions and all it takes to go from being frustrated with them to having a great time with them is to do some learning about them and putting in a few minutes a day training. The trick is to learn the right things – and to do the right training. I don’t know if you are aware of this but the dog training industry is completely unregulated. Anybody at all can call themselves a dog trainer or behaviour expert.
So right now – even in the cost of living crisis – prioritise paying for dog training. Cut down on expensive treats, don’t buy so many collars or harnesses. Find a way to pay for dog training advice and support from somebody good.
We’re in 2022 now – there are loads of opportunities to learn online from amazing trainers. Although everybody talks about going to dog training classes, the classes aren’t for your dog. The classes are for you so that you can learn how to train your dog.
And you can learn online. You can learn what you need, you can practice AND you can get help from dog trainers by sending them videos of what you are doing. If money is tight, spend less money on travelling and do more of your learning online. Do one day workshops in person or monthly classes in person and do more online.
Now is the perfect time to have it all when it comes to your dog. Don’t struggle on. We are in another crisis and your dog can help you get through it. All you need to do is learn how to understand your dog so that you can build an amazing life with them. Whatever you do, prioritise dog training and take it seriously enough to spend time and money on it. It’ll give you enormous rewards.