Keys to Success: The Consultation

dog high fiving their trainer

Keys to Success: The Consultation

Dog Training Consultations

Our consultation process is an extremely important part of your dog training success. It allows all of us – owners and trainers –  to gather the necessary information to make the best decisions so that you can always Enjoy Your Dog!!!

Dog training begins when the owner contacts the dog trainer. The trainer and the owner need to learn about each other. The trainer needs to know what the owner needs, and the owner needs to know the quality and cost of the trainer’s services.  Our contact form lets owners share basic details about their dogs and concerns. When this is completed, we provide detailed descriptions of our programs and pricing and schedule a phone call with the owner. 

The Initial Pre-Consultation Call

On this call, we ask the owner how we can help. The answer is always about some relationship issue with their dog that causes stress, pain, or conflict in their life. The dog may have problem behaviors such as jumping, barking, or biting; emotional issues such as anxiety, shyness, or aggression; or the owner wants to be proactive and ensure that the dog will develop a strong emotional constitution before the problems arise. This call allows us to listen as they explain the details of their situation. Knowing the dog’s breed, size, age, sex, and color helps us picture the situation. We ask questions and give an overview of the problem;  once we confirm our full understanding, we can outline the possible solutions. The problems are always relationship-based, so the solution is always relationship-building. I outline the importance of stress management, structure, and communication to build your relationship. We also discuss the policies for cancellation, payment, and the pre-consultation process. Then, we schedule our consultation. 

Meeting for the In-Person Consultation

When we meet an owner and dog in person, we already understand their concerns. We’ve had a few days to think about the issue’s complexity and develop follow-up questions and pertinent advice if we identified any liability for the client or dangerous situations for the dog. We also understand if the family faces challenges due to their or their dog’s medical situation. 

When we meet, we aim to gather and give as much information as possible to see if we are compatible and can work together effectively. We watch everything that happens carefully. 

Our meeting starts with observing how the dog emerges from the car. We watch how the dog walks on the leash as the new client enters. We watch the dog to see their response to our presence. We watch the dog’s movement to see signs of discomfort. We look at the equipment the dog is wearing. We look at how the owner is holding the leash. We watch the owner’s responses to the dog’s behaviors. We then perform a temperament test and begin making friends with the dog. 

Making Friends and Chatting

As we make friends with your dog, we also discuss your pre-consultation form with you. This is our opportunity to get to know each other, ask follow-up questions, and for us to give advice to lower liability and increase safety. We discuss any changes you should make to your dog’s schedule or environment to enhance your relationship.  We discuss our training philosophy, methods, techniques, and tools and are ready to answer any questions. 

Recommendations for Success

At the end of the consultation, we better understand your situation, problems, and goals. We have some understanding of what the dog does and why they are doing it. We understand the severity of the situation and can estimate the time it will take to change your dog’s behavior for the better. We remind you that we have only spent a small amount of time with the dog and that our recommendations might change as we see how the dog adjusts to their new environment, structure, and training. We recommend a program or programs and discuss any alterations we need to make to the selected program to adjust to your needs. Then, we discuss the path forward, including deposits, agreements, client folders, and virtual programs

Finally, when all questions are answered, and we have a plan, we can look forward to our next meeting and the beginning of our canine communication training. 

For more information about Argos Dog Training, reach out to our team today! We would love to set up a consultation with you and your pup. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form