When I was starting a private behavior practice, I had already trained two working dogs for my municipal animal control agency. I knew dogs. I knew training. To broaden the scope of my services, I spent a great deal of time learning about behavior modification.
Dog trainers are always on the look–out for dog groomers they can recommend to clients. Groomers are part of a necessary professional care team for many dog owners and fill a need that a dog trainer cannot.
Working with a dog trainer is usually a temporary part of an owner’s life, while working with a groomer is a relationship that can extend life–long.
“Michell, I work in a very busy shop with lots of groomers, bathers and dogs. It is fairly chaotic. I work hard to keep my dogs under control and comfortable at all times, but I struggle. I know it is possible because when I watch videos the dogs are calm and they just stand there. I am so tired of wrestling with dogs all day long. I can’t get help from my co-workers because they let the dogs do anything they want. Do you have any advice on how to get my dogs to cooperate?”
Barking is a problem for just about everyone other than New Zealand shepherds. They use “Huntaway” dogs to drive sheep with incessant barking. I don’t blame the sheep. For most people, incessant barking is a problem. People can be driven from their apartments or condos because their dogs bark incessantly. Shelters have trouble featuring adoptable animals because they cannot hear amid barking dogs in a kennel.
Pavlov is a name well known in the field of psychology but almost nothing about his work is known. At best, you may know that his most famous experiment was to ring a bell and then give a dog a piece of food. He traced the physiological reflexes associated with food – salivation, reduction in heart rate, etc.
Many of your clients need training services and ask you to help them find a qualified trainer. Trainers that come to your salon may solicit that kind of recommendation. They will undoubtedly sell themselves in the best light possible – an understandable and normal thing to do. This is where it gets interesting.
Adding training services specifically for the grooming experience is an extremely easy and profitable addition to grooming salons. Simple training services offer benefits for the dogs, their owners, and the grooming staff. Dog trainers and veterinarians are consistently looking to refer clients to salons that are able to offer dogs the benefit of a low-stress experience. Becoming such a salon is easier than it sounds.
The last 30 years of dog training lore revolves around the connection between wolves and dogs. You can buy 100 books that prattle about dogs being descended from wolves; animals that voluntarily live in groups, called packs. This perspective invariably assumes that dogs are likewise “pack animals”. The underlying implication is that dogs possess the same wolf-like ability to live in harmony with their own kind.