Updated: Apr 15
One of the things we always talk to clients about is that fact that we don’t really ‘label’ ourselves as certain trainers who use specific methods. So what I mean is we don’t classify ourselves as ‘positive only’ trainers or ‘balanced’ trainers or whatever else because for us, there isn’t really a label that accurately describes who we are as trainers and the training ethos that we follow. When explaining to clients what we do and the training we do, we often describe ourselves as following a LIMA trainer methodology (least intrusive minimally aversive) aiming to reduce conflict between a dog and their owner and build a strong relationship built on trust and respect. It’s the most accurate description as our ethos as trainers and the training that we do currently.
One of the reasons we don’t tend to ‘label’ ourselves and our training is because we as a company are always trying to learn more, improve ourselves and grow as trainers. The fundamentals of the training we do stays the same, based on canine learning theory using the four quadrants as a starting point for any training that we do. However, we pride ourselves on being able to offer different training styles to suite the vast majority of different dogs we work with. So if we’re working on something with a client and one method isn’t working, there’s a ton of other methods we can try instead! Why? Because, like humans, every dog is different and every dog learns in a different way. What may work for one dog may not work for another and the same for the people we work with too, one method may be super easy for someone to pick up but really tricky for another. Training needs to work for you and your dog together because you both want results in a suitable amount of time so you can go on enjoying your lives together with the tools you need to deal with whatever life throws at you.
So how do we ensure we as trainers are always learning, evolving and bettering ourselves so we can offer the best training we can to those we work with? Well it starts by partnering with other local trainers who use different methods so we can learn and grow together. We are so lucky to have a bunch of other trainers around us who work in different ways that have a wealth of knowledge and experience we can learn from. We regularly speak to and meet with other trainers to share knowledge and grow together so we can always make sure we are learning and bettering ourselves. One of the things we firmly believe not just as a company but also as individuals is that other trainers, therapists ect aren’t competition. We don’t want to be competing with other people, at the end of the day we’re all in this for the same reason – to help dogs and their owners!
We also strive to do our own individual CPD (Continuing Professional Development) to ensure we are always learning new things and progressing in our training. For us as trainers, we aim to do a minimum of 20 cpd points a year. So currently, I am doing a diploma studying Canine Holistic Health and Therapy. I’m learning about canine nutrition, the effects of physical and mental health, a wide range of holistic therapies such as herbal and flower remedies, homeopathy and oils, massage and manipulation and looking into how different training methods affect the dogs overall health and wellbeing. We always want to be making sure the training methodology we use is beneficial to the dogs we work with and isn’t detrimental to their overall health and wellbeing and I am loving learning all about the different therapies we can offer to help dogs to be as healthy and happy as they can be long term.
We are really passionate about being able to offer well rounded services that look at your dog as a whole because there are so many different things that effect a dog’s behaviour. We believe it is important as trainers to be able to look into all of the different aspects that could be affecting your dogs behaviour and wellbeing so we can best advise you and offer you a range of expertise. So that is why we are so passionate about always improving, learning and why our training is always changing. Like humans, every dog is different and every dog learns differently! We want to be able to help as many dog’s to improve as we can and so we need to be able to have lot’s of different tools in our tool box to cater for the wide array of dog’s that we see.
Einstein once said:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
A quote we hold at the centre of our business as we continue to evolve and grow as professionals in the dog industry, as we all should be.