I had a discussion with a fellow trainer about the standard of training of dog trainers’ own dogs. My colleague’s view was that a dog trainer needs only to have the necessary knowledge, qualifications, track record and teaching ability to train other people’s dogs – without necessarily having well-trained dogs themselves. My view is somewhat different ….
A football team manager doesn’t have to have been a good football player himself in order to be a good manager, I accept. But in the case of dog trainers, I think that if you are going to stand in front of an owner and instruct them in how to put right a problem with their dog that your own dog also has, you lack credibility. Why should a client have faith in your ability to help them if you can’t help yourself? I think that a trainer’s dogs are his/her shop window. Plus, if (as I do) you are going to use a dog to demonstrate skills and techniques, I think it’s so important that the demonstration is as good as it can be. For that, you need a well-trained dog, don’t you?
Of course, if you never use your own dogs when training others’ dogs, you won’t have a problem!
Anyway, that’s just my opinion and the old maxim still holds true: the only thing that two dog trainers will ever agree on is that a third trainer is doing it wrong!
But I just wondered what others think …..