by Michelle Mullins
My duties for Premier include, among other things, blogging, providing training tips for Facebook, developing fit and use instructions for products, and educating staff and consumers on these products. It appears I have my act together as far as training is concerned. However, sometimes when I’m writing a tip or educating someone on the phone I pause and think to myself, “Michelle, do you ever do that?” or “I wish I was that consistent.” So I must confess I am not a perfect trainer.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Mullins
- Not being consistent with asking them to move off the sofa. There’s room enough for everybody, mostly.
- Feeding dogs at the table, even if they are not in their places, in a down stay.
- Calling “cookie” out the back door to entice my oldest dog to stop herding butterflies and come back in side. His name is not Cookie.
- Swearing to my mother-in-law my hound never jumps on anyone but her and that I’m working on that. I don’t really feel bad about this one.
- Sometimes filling up Squirrel Dudes for the gang just because I’m just too lazy to take them for a walk.
- Making my dogs wear frilly collars for pictures, despite the “Are you kidding me?” looks on their faces.
As a professional trainer and giver of advice, I experience some guilt about these. I wonder though, should I feel guilty? I’m certainly not a perfect person, so I can’t expect to be a perfect trainer.
I do try my best to be a consistent and clear communicator to my dogs. No one who knows me can deny I love them and am passionate about their well -being. I am fortunate to spend my days working to make the lives of pets and their owners as enriching as possible.
So, I think I’ll forgive myself for a few missteps and flaws and just keep trying to improve and helping others do the same. My dogs don’t seem to be suffering under my care and if my mother -in-law doesn’t visit as often… Anyone else wanna fess up?