DOG CONSULTATION VS DOG TRAINING: What is a rescue dog consultant?? One thing that confuses people is when I say I do rescue dog consulting. I usually get “so you’re a dog trainer?” and the answer is NO. Although there is no regulatory body for dog trainers, being a dog trainer would imply that I’ve paid to do training courses through an experienced and reputable dog trainer, and I have certification from that trainer that I can teach others. A dog trainer should always be looking for continuing education and organizing continuing training classes working on specific goals, or specializing on particular aspects of dog behaviour. This is the absolute minimum that you should look for in a dog trainer, if that’s the route that you choose to go, and I highly recommend going to training for all dogs, even if you do training at home as well! I have a good relationship with several trainers, and would love to recommend a reputable trainer in your area, or if I’m not familiar with your geography I can reach into my network and ask for recommendations for you. So what is a dog consultant? A consultant is someone who has intensive industry experience and can provide expert advice. In my case, I have worked with a rescue organization for 5 years, fostered over 35 dogs, and done more than 60 intakes. I also work with foster parents to best set up their foster dogs for success, often going to their home and doing 1-2 hour sessions on managing the transition period and basic training. My goal with doing “rescue consulting” is to provide similar advice and techniques to people who are bringing a new dog into their home. This doesn’t have to be a rescue dog, this could be rehomed, a new puppy, or even looking for advice with helping a current dog settle better in their home. I am continually seeking out professional opinions of trainers to build my experience and my ability to help others, and building community relationships to offer the best resources for the people I am helping. Why do I charge for consulting? I value my time, and my work. Although I do this for free with the foster parents in the rescue, that is my investment in human capital in the rescue. I find that people are more likely to engage and take training seriously when they pay for it, and I want to work with people who are serious about setting their dogs up for success. Why don’t I just start a dog training business? I get asked by friends and family all the time why don’t I just start a kennel or training business. I actually have a Masters degree in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology, and have a passion for improving startup businesses. While I also have a passion for helping dogs in need and helping owners build a better more stable relationship with their dogs, I don’t want my day to just be about dogs. When I come home I want it to be a treat for me to spend quality time for my boys Molson and Rexxar, plus whoever I happen to be fostering at the time, and I don’t want to blur the lines between work and pleasure. When do I start working with new dog owners? Anytime! This could mean even before bringing a new dog home! It’s always better to set your new dog up for success, and if that means even before you meet your new dog, that’s ok too! If you’re committed to bringing home a new dog and want to prepare your home, learn what to expect when bringing a new dog home, and even help finding that new dog, I would love to be there to help you! Any questions about me or what I do? PLEASE ASK! I would love to discuss any questions you may have, and what is the best fit for your lifestyle!
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