A training guarantee

I admit that I watch a fair amount of Animal Planet. I like certain shows and whenever I leave the house I turn it on for the dogs to watch and listen to. My husband is less convinced the dogs care which channel is on. (maybe they don't but it makes me feel better) While watching AP recently I saw an ad for a dog training franchise. It said they could change your dogs behavior in less then two hours, for ANY problem, with a lifetime written guarantee. Whoa! Really? A lifetime guarantee?

So I did a little online digging. The company started in another country in 1989. They have been here in the states since about 1998. The good news is that it looks like they do use primarily positive methods. (From what I could see online though I have questions about the thing they are throwing around that they use as a "correction".)

My initial response however is one of caution, because if it sounds to good to be true, it usually is. Owner compliance is a huge issue in the training and behavior field. Because of it, results just aren't something a reputable trainer ever guarantees. From the Association of Pet Dog Trainers website: *Because of variables in dog breeding and temperament and owner commitment and experience, a trainer cannot and should not guarantee the results of his/her training. However, an instructor can and should be willing to ensure client satisfaction with his/her professional services.*

Perhaps I don't need to keep going to all the seminars on behavior and training anymore. I should just buy one of their franchises, let them train me to do magic,(their school is 3 weeks and would then qualify me as one of their dog behavioral therapists)and be done with it. I'm sure it will also come as a relief to many Canine Behaviorists, Veterinary Behaviorists, and Dog Trainers to learn that any problem can be solved in just two hours time. What a relief! We now have extra time to take that overdue vacation with our family.

I don't live where there is a trainer for this particular service so I can't tell how popular it may be nationwide. One would think with the claims they make that world domination in the training field would be imminent for them. Perhaps it is because of that little issue of a lifetime guarantee. That could certainly get quite costly in a business not known for 100% owner compliance.

I only hope that their service does help people with their dogs and doesn't mislead people with serious behavioral issues. Training is always a good thing, even better if they are indeed using positive methods and explaining canine behavior.

Perhaps the ad just rubbed me the wrong way. Their ad makes training look like it can be done quickly and easily which we as trainers know in some cases is neither. The only guarantee I give my clients is that it will take time and work on their part to change their dogs behavior. It is also something they need to continue for the lifetime of the dog. "Use it or lose it" is a training motto to continue keeping skills polished for a reason.

And on another related note, is it just me that takes issue with dog training as a business franchise? What's next, McTraining anyone?

(I would love to hear feedback from users of the service or other trainers on the topic.)

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