The past couple years we’ve been featuring a Client of the Week on our Facebook page. Each week a client and their dog are selected, photographed and recognized with a short write up that details their history with That’s My Dog! The feature briefly explains why they came to us, how long they’ve been training and the goals they have achieved.
At the end of each quarter, all those names go into a hat (actually, we put them in a dog bowl!) and we select one random winner to receive a $50.00 gift certificate to an area restaurant. It is great to see the dogs improve their behavior and a lot of fun for us to pick those winners.
Occasionally someone will mention that obtaining the title “client of the week” is a goal they have for their dog. In honor of starting a brand new year and because there will be 52 new folks selected for 2017, I want to take the opportunity to make sure the criteria for gaining the title are clearly explained.
Here is the secret to our selection process…
It isn’t about the dog.
We don’t care if a dog is making some mistakes in their obedience.
We don’t judge the reactive dog that still struggles to maintain composure from time to time.
We don’t look for perfection or impeccable speed and there are no points lost even if the dog is still naughty on occasion.
Nope, it isn’t about the dog.
When selecting our client of the week, our judgement is based on one simple criteria: How much consistent effort is the human putting in?
Because, ultimately, that is what it all comes down to. We can train the dog. We can train the humans who live with the dog, BUT we can’t be there day in and day out to ensure Fido is getting predictable, dependable feedback on their behavior.
So this New Year make a resolution to be consistent. Either mean what you say or don’t bother to say it. Reward what you like and un-reward what you don’t like.
There is truly no magic that will create the perfect dog. But there are recipe instructions for achieving your goals. The primary ingredient is Consistent Effort from you.
Happy New Year!