When I was putting together my business promotional materials for North Country Canine, my well intentioned designer made a suggestion to include the words, “Results guaranteed”. “It builds confidence in your clients that you can get the job done with their dog.” he explained.
“But I can’t do that, because I can’t control what my clients do, or mostly don’t do, with their dog, after our sessions are over.” I countered. “And when they fail, I ultimately fail in giving them what I have to offer.”
The look on his face told me that he had been creating marketing plans with plumbers, builders, and restaraunts for the most part. Those business can offer guarantees of satisfaction, even if it requires multiple revisits or money back plans. But Dog-Training or Behavioral Services are a very different situation. You see, in my practice, the ultimate way to success relies heavily on the work and effort of my client with their dog. Dogs are not my clients, People are my clients.
True, 100% of my clients have dogs, but in the end, the dog is usually not the problem, or the individual in need of my services. Many of the first conversations held with customers involve something similar to this:
“We just can’t figure out what’s wrong with our dog. The Vet says he’s healthy, but that we should see a trainer/behaviorist soon.”
Or this Golden Oldie:
“Well, we rescued Spot from a service, and we think he made have been teased or abused when he was young. He’s just unpredictable and wild!”
And another favorite of mine:
“Rex just will not stop jumping up on us, and he bites everybody! He won’t walk on a leash properly at all…he’s completely out of control!”
All important behavioral problems to be sure, needing correction as soon as possible.
Can we fix these problems? Yes, we can. But eventually that type of training will result in failures, and we, as the “trainer” will get the blame. That will lead to our customers talking about our services in a negative way, and our reputation getting a social beat-down. Why? Because of our failure to teach you, our client, how to handle your dogs behavior on your own.
Therefore, No Guarantees will ever be offered here.
What I Will offer is this: If you, as your dogs’ leader, will learn how your dog thinks and responds to your role as his leader, and make a daily practice of the discipline he needs, you will have the dog you desire…That, I can guarantee.
This is the reason that North Country Canine works with our clients in their own homes, and why we are so vehemently anti-Board and Train. To clarify, we don’t bring your dog to OUR facility, dismiss you for a week or more, train your dog to do or not do certain things, then give you an hour of instruction to attempt doing what we do. We firmly believe that this is the wrong approach for your dog, and for his family. You see, we can train a dog given a week or two, and have him perform admirably. But then when we hand you the leash, there will be backsliding, and ultimately, failure. Seen from the view of trainers and their bottom line, this guarantees repeat business, and treats clients like an ATM, spitting out piles of money…
There are many, many, dog trainers working off that business model, and plenty of dog owners happy to leave the work to them. These are not the type of dog owners that we like to work with. You chose to invite a dog into your family, you chose the breed, you chose the source from which the dog was purchased, and you committed to caring for that precious life…