Raising a good canine citizen is not easy work! There is a lot of pressure on owners nowadays to have a perfect dog, not a bad dog, to do it all on their own, and to get it all right with zero mistakes or mishaps along the way. How messed up is that? Your dog didn’t come with a step by step guide when you got them, and you certainly didn’t just absorb the information and experience you needed to know about training on your first contact with them. 

Bad dog

And yet, there is still this pressure and judgement on dog owners. It’s a ridiculous expectation and standard to expect someone to literally pull information they don’t know straight out of thin air. Having a dog doesn’t magically give you the ability to train your dog!

Things can be vastly complicated as well, not only by lifestyle, but by the dog themselves. Genetics, prior history, and behavior all go hand in hand, which can add up to an owner having to deal with behavior issues that they had no way to plan for at all. 

And still the burden of the dog’s behavior is planted squarely on the owner, who is at all times just doing their best with the knowledge available to them.

If you asked me to build myself a house, I’m sure there are parts that I could at least get partially correct. There is plenty of information on the internet, in fact there most likely is an overwhelming amount to sift through. But how long would it take me to sort through all of that? And how would I know which information is the most correct, and best? At the end of the day when I have done my best at building my house, which would have taken me 10 times longer than an experienced person, and would be full of mistakes, would you fault me for not being a pro? For not building myself a luxury mansion? 

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we do this when it comes to our dogs? Owners come to me with so much guilt and pain, thinking that getting help from a trainer means that they have failed in some way. When the reality is just the opposite! When I have someone build me a house, did I fail because I didn’t know how? When I learn a new skill from a pro, not having the knowledge beforehand doesn’t make me a failure. Getting help when you don’t know what to do is not only a great choice, but is extremely brave. It takes a lot of nerve and courage to overcome these feelings of guilt and inadequacy. 

Be kind when it comes down to what you know and where you are in your training journey with your dog. There is no shame in asking for help, just like there is none in not knowing all the answers. It is ok. Things can be changed. It’s not your fault. 

In the Pupgrade crew you will NEVER be judged on your prior knowledge of dog training, never be made to feel bad for past mistakes, or treated like you’re a bad owner. Everyone starts at the same place, pro trainers included. I mean I wasn’t born knowing what I know or with the skills that I have! I’ve been there and done that, gone through the struggles of using the wrong techniques, of realizing my mistakes, and pursuing that path to get the right knowledge and answers.

Joining up and being a part of our crew sets you apart from tons of owners who never seek out training, and never get real help for the very real problems that they’re experiencing with their dogs. You hold your dog’s future in your hands. What are you going to do with it?