Why are we seeing more problems with dogs?

I think we are seeing more problem dogs because the average dog owner has unrealistic expectations of their dogs.

They want them to sit at home by themselves all day without getting into trouble, calmly greet them when they get home and not need attention, actively protect them from people- but understand which people, take a leash walk to the bus stop with the kids every day and get enough exercise from it, understand the word “NO” means 1,000 different things, to be quiet at all times, and that’s not even mentioning the *dress them up and put them in a stroller* crowd.

When they have a problem they don’t know how to find help. Sure, search on line for trainers and training organization. Does the average pet owner understand what they’re looking for? I hear things like “But he’s not being good how can I teach him with treats” that’s an excellent question, “What do I do when he’s growling at me” We need to find out why he is he growling at you, “My friend has a dog who does this and she said to..” she needs help too, or my person favorite “the vet or vet techs said to watch the Dog whisperer” Are the doctor and nurses at the animal hospital trainers?

What about the people who think they’re trainers. I don’t mean to sound harsh or judgmental but there are many hobbyists who don’t take classes or do continuing ed like we all do. They over came a training challenge with a dog or two and declared themselves professionals. The general public doesn’t understand that that’s not a professional trainer.

We are slowly educating the general public. The more they know the better their dogs will be. Think about how much misinformation is out there that they have to sift through to get real answers. Here are a few- hypoallergenic dogs, the *rhymes with a breed* designer dogs, he has hair not fur so he doesn’t shed, this breed just needs a puppy class, this breed is great for kids. The list goes on.

I do agree that there is bad training and bad trainers but I think there is so much more to the problem.

Just some thoughts,
Chrissy

Christine Neumyer Smith CPDT-KA
www.happycritters.net
Lowell, MA

This post was meant for other certified professional dog trainers and when I read it, I felt that others needed to read it. So, I asked Chrissy if I could post it on my blog. She agreed! Thank you Chrissy for such an insightful post! Pam