|Barked: Mon Nov 26, '12 3:32pm PST |
|BINGO! You want someone who makes this their life. It's not the title that matters to me, it is the process, the challenge, the goal meeting. Training to me IS goal meeting. Pet or competition, it is setting goals and attaining them. Titling takes the subjectivity out of "successful graduate." And we aren't talking about one dog. We are talking about many, and when the trainer has multiple venues? All the more encouraging for this person to listen to your goals and help you attain them. Because it's what they do and what they have passion for. The people I have mentored under typically take on dogs for titling. They didn't pick those dogs. They are assigned them by clients with a very specific result in mind and they now have to attain it in a non subjective way. If they don't, they won't be in business for long. You are getting some pretty significant wheat from chaff separation there.
That aside, I would be naturally dubious, if someone loves training dogs (which one would hope one's trainer DOES), they would fail to eventually branch out into titling. It's sort of that next level. You play guitar in your bedroom forever, then you play it before your friends, and at some point you will have that yen to play it before a more discerning audience. As you have these successes, it's just a natural segue IMO.
What I saw in Duncan's description was her own version of a happy pet...."We meet at a store, like PetCo or something. The trainer's dog greets strangers (including me) in a friendly, happy, relaxed manner; walks around the store calmly without pulling or straining on the leash; greets other dogs properly; seems attuned to the owner and obeys commands even with distractions present naturally in the environment. Because, this would be a "real" pet type situation, in which I would like my dogs to function well"
Ok, that's a personal view. That's the dog she wants. That description to me (my own sensibilities) sounds too sedate and that it is not considering breed diversity. It is a personal goal and expectation. Some dogs aren't friendly. I don't mean they are aggressive....they aren't friendly. There's no harm in that, and to some there is that preference. Certainly one of my GSDs annoyed the crap out of me for being as friendly as he was. I called him my "Golden Retriever." Plenty of dogs aren't calm. I see no harm in that if they are under control. As long as the dog wasn't straining, I'd say that was spectacular. Requires far more skilled training than having a dog who may BE naturally calm and have nothing to do with training at all. Some dogs don't like other dogs. No harm there....that's life. The only part of the quoted expectation I see as a fair universal criteria is "seems attuned to the owner and obeys commands even with distractions present." Which lands me back to the competitive trainer, for that IS the main challenge in titling a dog, can he deliver under some pretty intense distraction. Those should be the main points.....can goals be met and will my dog be reliable. Dogs are way too diverse to expect much more than that. I would hope a Pyr owner would not insist their trainer make their Pyr friendly, or a Bull Terrier owner not have the expectation that he be a charming dog greeter. That they are reliable and under control would be the point. When talking about universals, that's really all you can expect as some standard of criteria.
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