It’s huge, enormous, gigantic. It has the potential to keep you up at night, have you stressed out for hours for no apparent reason and invites you to find all types of innovative ways to calm yourself down. NO matter how cool, calm and collected you seem during a session the moment the class ends you will feel every single thing that happened in your bones. If you don’t have tools to deal with this you may stress for hours asking yourself if you did the right things, if everyone was happy and if everyone including the dogs got what they needed. It is your responsibility as a dog trainer to be aware of these things as people are spending their hard earned money to come to get solace and advice from you. What you teach them can make them or break them. You can help re-build a family or tear it apart. Yes the responsibility is huge. Telling someone that their dog must be muzzled at all times, or they must spend extra money to get blood panels and new food that they can’t afford, or they must use completely different tools that they aren’t used to using and most of all asking them to be accountable for a creatures well being that they may or may not over care or under care about.
Asking people to extend themselves when they already feel overextended and stressed to the max just living day to day, is a touchy, touchy subject. Supporting these fragile people and dogs is a full time job even if you are working part time. You have to care and you have to go the extra mile, you chose this career and you’re not even a psychologist. The thoughts running through your head about what they are up to when they are out with their aggressive, fearful or hyperactive dog will drive you to drink or hopefully yoga. Even better, to classes courses and deep personal work to help you manage it all while supporting them to the best of your abilities.
Yes you chose to become a dog trainer, now not only do you have the responsibility to learn every single thing you can about dogs and their behavior but you have the responsibility to keep taking classes and courses to make sure you are up to date with the latest training information and techniques. On top of this you have to learn about non-violent communication and Neuro linguistic programming so you can talk to each and every person on a level that they individually understand. Now bring all of this into a class room environment put it in an emotional blender and off you go. I invite you to never ever believe that you have all of the answers, I ask you to never ever stop learning about how to help people and their dogs live together in harmony and I invite you to do this while fostering or volunteering or living with a pack of your own.
Never ever believe that you have all of the answers. Do believe that within a deep breath when stressed and facing a wall that the answers will come. Do believe that if you find a moment of silence and ask internally how can I help this dog, the answer will come. Do believe that if you come from the heart and not the ego, everything you and your client need to know will be revealed, it will happen as it should. Having faith and sharing that faith with your client as being able to see the final outcome is all a part of your responsibility… If you can’t see it neither can they. Yes it is a huge responsibility, but it’s worth it.