Monday, December 2, 2013

Top 5 reasons DADs turn into expensive pets

1. Your expectation of what they could do was too high
"I paid thousands for this life-saving animal and they missed another one!"
- Really good DADS are about 85%+ accurate. They will miss and make mistakes. Thinking your child's life is in THEIR hands is your mistake, not your dogs'...
Article: What to expect when you're expecting...(A DAD)
2. You weren't ready for the work involved to keep up the skill
"All the work was done before I brought the dog home." or "That's why I'm getting a 'finished/mature' dog."
-Do you have kids? Did the work stop once they were out of diapers? It's the same. Consistency, follow-through, repeating behaviors. Practice, trial and error. They are your new "kid." Skills come over a lifetime.
Article: Your DAD is only as good as you are
3. Somewhere between how you got your dog (and you) there was a significant miscommunication
"I didn't know this would happen! I need to spend more money?!" or "What the heck am I supposed to do now? "This isn't working," or "This is scary, I may 'mess up' my dog!"
- Did you receive training, guidance, literature, etc? Take learning & research into your own hands? 
Article: Top 10 Resources for DAD info
4. The dog doesn't have the drive
"But we had a professional pick our dog out." or "We had our dog evaluated for this work."
-Some of the top organizations wait a full year with scent training and/or give "started" dogs or scent imprinted pups out. BUT IT HAPPENS. Dogs don't work out. Their drive isn't one that matches your handling, environment, whatever the case- it HAS HAPPENED that a dog gets SWITCHED out. Do you have this kind of protocol/safety-net set up in your contract? ASK. What would the timeframe look like?
Article: DADs are Dogs, too!

5. You treat your DAD like a pet, not a working dog.
"Max is SO adorable! We just LOVE him!"
- Of course you do. How can you not? That's acceptance. It's natural! But this is not your average pet. In fact, this is not a pet at all. You want night alerts? Train for it, keep up the training, and stop letting MAX sleep on a down-pillow in your bed (especially if he's a tough sleeper.) Exhausting MAX with endless exercise will also lead to heavy-sleeping-syndrome issues... And don't under-estimate the power of PLAY-TIME. Like REAL actual DOG-time! (via latest Denver conference by Michele Pouliot-Who is the trainer that helped turn Guide Dogs for the Blind from correction based training to reward based in the 80's,Read her BLOG HERE) LEARN LEARN LEARN! If you don't know, ask someone who won't think you're silly for asking. A trainer who knows this field. Search. Ask. That's why this blog is here; that's why FB groups LIKE THIS ONE are joined by, but not lead by, multiple organization heads and trainers.
(this paragraph contributed/edited by Rebekah Wright of Highland Springs)

editor's note: come on by This FB group on DAD advice where the discussion is hot on this topic!

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