As a professional dog trainer, you will encounter clients who are very well educated regarding behavior, some clients who simply have a knack for reading and responding to canine body language, and clients who get misinformation from the internet, family & friends, or previous trainers. One of the more popularly discussed and commonly misunderstood concepts you’ll encounter among your clients is dominance. Be ready with a strategy to approach clients with misconceptions, as well as a few ways to explain concepts in simple and easily understood language.
- What dominance is, rather than what it’s not. Although you certainly shouldn’t shy away from explaining misconceptions. Read “Dominance Or The Best Spot” for one approach to explaining the concept of dominance to your clients.
- Addressing the clients' underlying concerns and reasons for believing that dominance is an issue in their relationship with their dog. Aggression, a lack of basic pet manners like jumping when excited, and inconsistent or incomplete housetraining are all good targets for being labeled dominant behavior by clients.
- Providing your client with a number of tools that enable him or her to interact with their dog in positive and relationship enriching ways. Explain how certain actions can damage their relationship with their dog.
Resolving the client’s behavior and training concerns utilizing techniques that improve the client’s relationship with his dog will be one of the best tools for convincing clients to abandon their dominance misconceptions.