Can you fix my dog?
While we do understand when owners ask questions like these, it is important to know that we are not typical trainers that promises quick results, then ignoring what matters most here, the feelings, well-being and future of your dog.
Dogs are sentient beings and have feelings just like us. Every dog is different, this includes their bloodline, personality, history and learning ability. This also mean that handlers are not the only factor that determine how much information a dog can absorb, therefore the ideal of fixing problems is not a good term when it comes to teaching. Of course, we could force someone to do things the way we want, either through verbal or physical intimidation, but that doesn’t mean that we were successful as teachers/trainers just because it worked on that person, as the person was not convinced to change but simply doing so to avoid conflict. If we apply this logic on humans, especially children, this could be labeled as abuse in these days, and if we add up the stress build ups and side effects towards a being on a daily basis, this can turn into a very unhealthy relationship. Yes it is possible that some people may just want the end results without caring about how it works and if it’s bad for the parties involved, this is not wrong and I do not blame them for thinking this way, but I wouldn’t call it training/teaching. You could throw a child into the pool and the child may struggle and eventually starts paddling (or drown), but that doesn’t mean that you have taught the child to swim.
What we prefer to do here is to teach by observing how modern learning works in psychology treatment and education. Rather than labeling and applying the same treatment to every problem, we treat your dog as an individual, we learn to understand, find out the strengths and weaknesses for each and every single dog and maximize their learning potential. With this it is important to understand that we aim to use positive reinforcement as much as possible, and this usually requires time and effort, sometimes training can take months to even years depending on the situation and severity of each individual dogs, it is also possible that certain fear/trauma case may not fully recover, just like humans who have undergone trauma and psychological stress, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t improve their life through proper understanding and treatment plans. Ethical trainers will never promise that they can guarantee and fix problems, those that do so are just using the scientific term known as suppression. Suppression and flooding is not what we want for any sentient beings, what we want is to work towards changing the emotions (instead of behavior) and help them make better choices in life, just like what a good education system does. Is there a perfect education system? No, but we work towards unbiased adjustments and improving them constantly, just like how science progresses.
Over the years, we had received a number of offers to expand our training team and businesses, I’ve even had handlers asking to work under us for free in exchange for experience, we did considered but based on the circumstances and weighing out the pros and cons, we decided not to, because we want to continue working with owners closely without having to be distracted by staffs, marketing, fame and other things that don’t do the dogs any benefit, at least not for couple more years. We want to let owners feel that they are talking to not just a trainer, but also a human being who is genuine in helping, to provide honest, constructive feedback and a personal experience. Outside work, we are just a reserved couple that love to spend time together, we don’t care about being rich or famous, we just want lead a normal life doing what we love (dogs) and traveling once in awhile, so if you ask me what makes us different, I’d say that this is probably what sets us apart from others.
In short, our way of working with dogs is not like the typical training programs out there that promises quick results and fix them within days or weeks, so if you are looking for someone that provides quick fix, we may not be the right person for this job. But if you want a passionate mentor who is here to provide an education for not just your furkid, but also yourself who is sincere to learn more about dogs through our lenses, we are definitely here to help!