Robert F. Broussard, M.A., CPDT-KA
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Why Train Your Dog

Why train your dog in San Angelo?

"Love your dog, train your dog."

"But ask the animals & they will teach you..."  Job 12:7



It’s about relationships

In the end, it’s the quality of our relationships that matterthe quality of our relationship with God, our fellow humans, & yes, our companion creatures.  In this rough & tumble world, it seems we often get caught spending a lot of our time running here & running there, buying this & buying that, & forgetting to take the time to invest in what really counts—our relationships. 

I'm in this business because I love to help owners turn their relationship with their dog into something truly rewarding & memorable.  I also love helping dog owners explore many of the exciting activities involving dogs.  If you decide to train with me, you will be making an investment towards one of life's more remarkable gifts— a quality relationship with your dog. 

After you work with me, you & your dog will have a better understanding of each other & will trust & appreciate one another more.  As you continue to develop your leadership, training, & management skills, your dog will be able to take on more freedom & responsibility, & you both will reap the rewards that come with working together.

An investment that counts

  The average pet owners spend a hefty sum each year on their pets' food, veterinary care, equipment, grooming, overnight boarding, & more, & often continue this investment for a decade or longer.  The ASPCA estimates that the minimum annual costs for a pet ranges between $1300-$1500 (ASPCA, 2011).  I know the impact of this investment, because I’m a pet owner too.  But as a dog owner I also know that it’s the training services that can help make the initial investment truly worthwhile!    Training is what puts the cheese on top of the chili!  It’s the gravy on top of the taters!  Training can help you turn your four legged creature into a well-behaved, happy, and healthy, animal that is a treasured part of the family.  If you are already spending good money to keep a pet, why not reap the rewards that come with training? 

If you are currently happy with your relationship with your pet, come out & find out how training can enhance & even deepen your relationship with your dog.  If you come out for a lesson or class & find you haven't learned something new & remarkable, then the training is on me.

Don’t become a statistic

According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior(AVSAB), behavioral issues, not infectious diseases, are the #1 cause of death for dogs under 3 years of age (AVSAB, 2008).  Behavioral problems can lead to a pet’s death for a number of reasons, including aggression problems, housetraining issues, & running into traffic.  When it happens, it is usually very painful for the family.  The pain is magnified by the fact that in most cases, the death could have been prevented.  I have been in the dog arena long enough to have watched too many families face the death of a pet due to behavioral problems.  Most of these behavior problems could have been prevented & managed with early intervention.  While you are certainly entitled to train your dog whenever or however you would like, waiting until your dog's problems become severe and entrenched habits could place your pet's life in jeopardy, because addressing severe and longstanding problems is expensive and time consuming. 

           The best defense against the #1 health issue facing your dog is early training & socialization & ongoing behavioral care over your pet's lifetime.  Ongoing training & behavioral care will help you understand your dog's developmental changes, & will help your dog adjust to changes in the family over his or her lifetime.

A dog's mind counts too

          As pet owners we're particularly sensitive to the physical suffering of our pets.  A whimper, cough, or unusual accident on the floor, & we rush our pet to the vet without hesitation.  However, when our dogs misbehave, oftentimes we are not as sympathetic to our pets' feelings.  Because the behavior is bothersome, we tend to overlook the emotions behind the behavior.  Misbehavior is often a sign of psychological stress and suffering.  Dogs often destroy things because they are bored, frustrated, or anxious.  Dogs often bark & growl because they are afraid or confused.  When dogs do these things excessively, it often means they are feeling these negative emotions a lot.  Chronic stress can have serious consequences on a your pet's health, & can shorten his or her life.  Addressing the emotions behind your pet's behavior not only can eliminate the negative effects of the behavior, but also can alleviate your dog's suffering.             

Be your animal care professional’s best friend

          Well trained pets generally are more tolerant of grooming, handling, & routine veterinary care.  Well behaved pets are more relaxed when they are under care & trust that the people that provide care for them are not out to hurt them.  Our veterinarians, groomers, pet sitters, veterinary technicians, & kennel technicians are devoted enough to care for difficult pets.  However, wouldn't it be nice if we all did our part to make it easier for these folks to complete their job?  With training, your pet can come to see its routine care as a good thing.  Your dog will be more relaxed, & your animal care professionals will enjoy working with him or her more.


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References

ASPCA (2011).  Pet care costs.  Retrieved from http://www.aspca.org/adoption/pet-care-costs.aspx

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (2008).  AVSAB position statement on puppy socialization.  Retrieved from

http://www.avsabonline.org/avsabonline/images/stories/Position_Statements/puppy%20socialization.pdf



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