Call Me: I’ll Listen And Help

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PHOENIX, AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
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If I can’t understand a dog owner’s personal situation, and get to know them, I can’t get their dog to behave them properly.

I spend a great deal of time working with dogs and their owners every working day. It takes a long time to really get to know a dog. Just meeting a dog doesn’t give you a complete picture of who the dog is, or give you the ability to predict their feelings or actions in the future. You have to work with them, spend time, get to know them, and hear what they are “telling” you about themselves and the world they live in.

In like manner, it takes a long time to get to know a person. First impressions tell you some things, but people are good at hiding their inner thoughts and emotions from others, and to be polite, we don’t pry into the personal lives of others. However, when I train a dog, I have to get to know the people the dog knows in order to get the best results for the owner. Now, this isn’t a bad thing for me. I like people, like getting to know them, and I am the type that can and will be a good forever friend.

Behavioral problems come in all shapes and sizes. And much of what are dogs are going through is a result of the life we are putting them through. If our lives are a mess, then our dogs are going to be experiencing stresses and conflicts as a result, too. So, those things have to be sorted out, and a good trainer needs to have a listening ear in order to help make things easier for the dog – owner relationship.

I have run across a wide spectrum of family situations in my dog training practice. I have stepped into situations involving spousal abuse, alcoholism, drug abuse, divorce, lawsuits, handicaps, the effects of old age, new babies, pregnancy, marriage difficulties, boyfriend / girlfriend conflicts, prostitution, depression, and on and on. All those things then affect how the dog training and behavior modification program will progress. I have been involved in so many situations that I can often tell, just from reading the dog, what is probably happening in the home. Dogs do “talk”, they just do it in a language other than English.

There have been times, however, when I encounter a personal situation that directly interferes with the training of the dog. I had one customer who projected, imagined, that their dog was thinking and doing things that the dog clearly wasn’t. And there were things going on in that home, when I wasn’t present, that I couldn’t control. The dog had a biting problem, and this woman’s unstable ways, were the direct cause. She decided the dog was vicious and tried to get her veterinarian to put the dog down, which he refused to do. I worked with another situation where a man lived with his mom. He owned an Italian Greyhound, a very trainable and sweet dog. This woman would terrorize the dog when her son was at work, hitting the dog with newspapers and brooms. The man was pretty weird himself, having been raised in that environment, and so his dog had become a biter, not trusting if you touched him if he was going to be hurt. I tried to get him to surrender the dog to another home, but he wouldn’t do it, knowing that his dog would continue to be abused by his crazy mom. In both cases, the dogs didn’t have biting problems, the dogs had owner problems, and because I couldn’t get the owner’s heads on straight, I couldn’t fix the behavioral problems.

Yet, on the other hand, in most cases, I have had tremendous success in working through the personal difficulties my customers have been involved with. One such customer was devastated to come home and find that her puppy had died of a heart attack. She was extremely traumatized by what she saw when she walked in the front door of her home. I will spare you the details, but it was ugly and disturbing. I heard from her while I was on vacation, and I helped her walk through all the shock, via text messages and phone calls. When I got home, I helped her with the grieving process, and when she finally got a replacement pup from the breeder, I restarted the lessons anew with the new puppy. She didn’t have many friends, and she needed support during that time. I made sure she was ok throughout. She’s happy again, and we are now most of the way through the training of her new dog. We’ve been doing Basic Obedience now, with the interruption, for almost a year now. I’ve stuck with her through thick and thin.

I have been in homes where the sessions ended with the owners in tears, thanking me for listening to their situations, and for showing them how their situations were affecting their dog’s behavior. And then we can take steps together to put it all back together again, and as a side effect, get their dogs to behave. There are community resources out there to help with many of these situations, too. And sometimes I have to incorporate them into the solution.

Yes, dog training is more about training the people than the dogs. But, one of my secrets is that it is also about helping the people involved, not treating people like a paycheck, but getting to know them. And then doing what I do best, being there for them. When I do that, then all the dog stuff seems to all just fall into place.

PLEASE READ:

Why Should You Choose Sam Basso To Train Your Dog? (What To Expect)
Customer Testimonials (Please call me if you’d like to talk to my references)
My Prices (Complete description of prices for each program)
My Rules (Policies, Payment, Cancellations, Rules, Disclosures, etc.)