When you browse the internet and in particular social media you find thousands of new dog trainers daily. Most of them in their early 20’s. Almost all of them are “Head Trainers” or “Master Trainers”. I even have found “Grand Master Dog Trainers” out there too. It makes me laugh. Their Social media pages are filled with Political, Racist and homophobic propaganda and videos of some mediocre dog training. So much focus on what is not important.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some talented people out there but if you are really good at something, focus on it. Don’t stray away from it. Instead, continue perfecting your dog training skills and become a partner of value. If you can’t be of value to your dog and your clients, then figure out what related businesses you can get into but stay away from dog training. If you want to become rich, famous and successful you have chosen the wrong career.
One of Albert Einstein famous quotes “Strive not to be a success, but rather be of value” is packed full of knowledge that as a dog trainer we should apply daily.
If we are not of value to our dogs, we are nothing. Well we are selfish Idiots. Sure we can make easy money by applying some old school methods and camouflage some of the dogs problems (or rather our own) by force, or get our dogs obedient in 10 lessons. We can apply one particular recipe of training to all the dogs we meet and if those dogs fail to show results, well “its a bad dog”. No we should become the most valuable motivator in our dogs lives!
About 20 years ago I was one of those people.. I had fancy business cards and posters all over. I was a top notch Master Trainer.. Meaningless if you asked my dogs. The only thing I cared about was looking good on the competition field and making sure all the dogs did what I wanted them to do. I had a particular way of training, was involved in the sport of Schutzhund and FCI Obedience and if the dog couldn’t take the training, well he was a bad dog. Today, 20 years later, I realized I had a huge ego that was in the way between me and truly understanding dogs. Over the last two decades I have been studying the Canine in depth. I went to University even to achieve a Ph.D. in Animal behavior. But non of that mattered without the change that was necessary within myself. I needed to drop my Ego, stop feeling important, being a head trainer, master trainer wasn’t important to my dogs, understanding them, building a relationship with them based upon trust and respect and enjoying my time with them, having fun, was and is.
Today I am just a guy working with dogs and trying to understand them the best way possible and guide them were they might have found troubles with their current owners. Help owners to understand them better. Today its not about the points on the competition field, and looking good. Its about working harmonious together and feeling great together, without conflict.
So all head trainers, master trainers, Grand Master trainers try to strive not to strive but focus on whats important, your relationship filled with trust and respect and fun. Learn, study continuously. Because in the end there is really only one Grand Master Head Trainer and that is the dog itself..
- Bart de Gols -