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It's Not About the Equipment (aka hang onto your wallet)

There is so much noise out there about equipment that will solve your dog's behavior issues. Whether it’s pulling on the leash, barking, potty training, excessive chewing and digging or any number of annoying behaviors, there is always someone who claims to have an instant fix that comes in the form of products or equipment.


If even half the claims were true and accurate there would virtually be an end to all dog behavior issues!


But it's never really about the products and equipment! And here’s the rub… sometimes we don’t know what it’s about, but we still need to find a solution!


Think about the human world of products that are guaranteed to solve your problems. This phenomenon has become ubiquitous in the age of advertising and the internet age has put it on steroids! Pop-up ads bombard us constantly, based on anything we have viewed for half a second.


It’s tempting to believe the claims of problems being magically solved through simply purchasing the right product. Who doesn’t want a quick fix? Who wouldn’t like to bid good-bye to that annoying issue forever? Who doesn’t want their dog to walk leisurely down the street on a loose leash?


It’s a fact that the pet industry is BIG and is growing bigger all the time. There are a lot of dollars, yours included, up for grabs. Big companies have big budgets, and as the old saying goes, it pays to advertise. Those ads for the leash, harness or collar that “instantly stops your dog from pulling” are carefully targeted and they work! (the ads, not the products)


Of course, there are some good pieces of equipment and some good products that work for some dogs some of the time. However, common sense tells us that if there was one product that truly worked magic and instantly solved a nagging problem then it would be common knowledge and the other products would go the way of the floppy disk.


So, what’s a frustrated dog guardian to do when Fido won’t stop barking, pulling on leash, digging in the yard, getting into the trash, jumping up on guests, or add-your-issue-here?


The short answer might be to try the next product that your neighbor claims to be the miracle cure.


The longer (and more common sense) answer is to step back, look at the whole picture and determine how you will do these 2 things:


1 Adjust the dog’s environment and routine for success.

2. Find the strategies that create new patterns of behavior.


Sometimes a thoughtful look at what is happening followed by making some small changes will yield amazing results. Other times it’s necessary to delve further into the why’s and work toward new ways of doing business.


An ethical trainer can help with this process!


An ethical trainer will not guarantee a given result within a specific time frame but will do their best to implement the most effective strategies that have proven effective in similar situations.


An ethical trainer will continue to assess, evaluate and make adjustments to strategies for the benefit of the individual client.


If a trainer promises that a product or technique is guaranteed to stop a behavior problem, it might be best to hang onto your wallet.


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