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TRAINING AND BEHAVIORAL CONSULTANTS

A Need or A Rip-Off?

Tam Cordingley, CSI Instructor, SAAB Member

 

There are now dog training and behavior modification services everywhere. Are they needed or is this just one more info-age rip-off?

 

good consultants lend a hand to novice dog ownersIn my opinion Dog Consultants are, like many things, not a necessity but are a definite convenience. A good canine behaviorist or trainer can lend a hand to help solve dog dilemmas without you having to do the digging for information yourself.

 

Some services are strictly for breed selection, some are straight telephone consultation, and some offer a variety of problem solving methods. If your consultant is knowledgeable it can save lots of headaches and time.

 

Many people keep open accounts with their counselor and call with any questions that come up concerning their pet. Beginning with choosing a breed, locating a breeder of that breed, making sure that breeder is a good one and not just a puppy factory, buying products and equipment, and any training or management questions that come up.

 

There are no regulations about who can be a consultant, so it behooves you to be selective. Ask for the background of your counselor. If they have been active as a breeder, exhibitor, or handler, have they been successful or simply active?

 

Have they had a wide variety of breed experience, or experience with only a few breeds? Can they provide references of satisfied clients? Possibly of most importance is your confidence level. Do you feel confident that the counselor you are talking with understands your problem and situation?

 

Can you get the level of support you need? Some clients only need referral to a good book while others feel more comfortable conferring about everything from buying a collar to fencing the yard to proper grooming procedure and equipment.

 

This isn’t ordinarily a free service. Prices range from under $20 for a questionnaire on breed selection to $100 per session for on-site individual consultation. Is it worth it? You bet! With puppies frequently costing $500 to $1000 a mistake in choosing an unsuitable breed is an expensive error. Proper training and management techniques can save many thousands of dollars in damage caused to home and yard.

 

A good consultant can help make dog ownership a rewarding experience for all concerned rather than a nightmare for you and the dog ending up neurotic or in a shelter.

 

Tam Cordingley with "Rosie" the Fox TerrierThe frustration both you and your dog can feel if there's mismanagement can be avoided. No more returning from work and opening the door to find soiled floors, shredded furniture, or worse yet having your dog escape.

 

The consultant can help you over the rough spots.

 

Valley Pet News Sacramento CA 1992 reprinted with permission

09191511 http://www.thedogplace.org/Training/behavioral-consultants_thc-0902.asp

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Chihuahua Photo by Associated Press

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