Tag Archives: Dog Trainers

Good Attending and Communication Skills Help Dog Training Professionals

Written by Niki Tudge 2010 Copyright

Key Points of Good Communication Skills

Dog Behavior consulting can take place in an emotionally charged environment where there are differing expectations, belief and value systems. Poor communication can further compound these issues and  Hetts proposes a crisis intervention model recommending four communication skills that can help consultants deal with challenges that arise from these scenarios.

Acknowledging is a skill that validates a client’s emotional experience without judgment benefiting the mutual relationship of both parties. Normalizing helps to put a client’s situation into context whereby they acknowledge they are not alone in experiencing these problems with their dog. The acknowledgement process can help eliminate further emotional stress.

Self –disclosing is the process of the consultant normalizing the client’s experience and reducing the gap between themselves and the client by acknowledging their own mistakes and sharing past experiences when they have a good understanding of the client’s problems and concerns.

Controlling the conversation is an important skill.  The consultant can tactfully keep the conversation on track without offending or belittling the client. This is an important skill at the front end of the consultation during the telephone intake procedure. Controlling a conversation ensures pertinent information can flow without the key focus being lost.


Key Points of Good Attending Skills

Good attending skills help create an atmosphere that develops trust. Listening actively, maintaining eye contact, clarifying understandings and exploring feelings using open ended questions allows for effective and efficient communication.

Good attending skills also focus on non verbal cues. Focusing all of your attention onto the person you are communicating with expresses a genuine interest in them.  Fidgeting, conflicted attention and poor listening skills indicate a lack of interest in the person and this can elicit counterproductive emotional responses.

The use of minimal encouragers helps the client to continue communicating what could be a difficult message and empathy can be expressed by asking open ended questions to encourage them to keep talking. Verbal tracking is a skill that helps keep a client on topic if they become sidetracked or digress to another subject and paraphrasing helps confirm and clarify information.

Mirroring is similar to paraphrasing only when you mirror a client you take emotional content and relate it back to the client. This can be a difficult procedure and an unfamiliar or unknown client may deem this too invasive resulting in a lack of trust.

Summarizing at the end of a conversation is the process where the consultant condenses all of the pertinent and important information and relays it back to the client to confirm they have understood all the clients concerns.

Hetts, S. (1999) Pet Behavior Protocols. What to say, what do do, when to refer. Lakewood, CO AAHA Press

No Reservations Required at The DogSmith’s Dog Training “Drop-In” Locations

The DogSmith, a national Dog Training, Pet Sitting, Dog Walking, Pet Nutrition and Pet Waste Cleanup Franchise, has created a new “Drop-In” dog training curriculum to fit their customer’s busy schedules.

Washington County, Florida, February 22, 2010 – Research shows that many new dog owners delay enrolling in training, sometimes indefinitely, because of personal and business commitments scheduled sometime during the period of the desired training course.  This often results in puppies missing out on critical social interaction and basic obedience training during their crucial developmental periods.  Many families, though committed to providing the necessary early education for their puppies, lead busy lives that won’t always allow them to ‘commit’ to a standard 8 week course of puppy classes without interruption.  So The DogSmith developed a program which would be flexible enough to meet the needs of these families.  Now a new puppy owner can register for any of The DogSmith’s developmental dog training programs and simply “drop-in” on any convenient sessions until they have completed the required curriculum.

The objective, according to DogSmith founder Niki Tudge, “is to encourage people to sign up for the important  formative training programs so their dogs get the necessary training and socialization in a format that is both effective, achievable, and fits in with the busy lives many lead.”

According to Tudge, “This new program is furthering our mission to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship and the quality of the life they share.  Now our students don’t have to attend every class session consecutively to get the training they need.”  Each ‘drop-in’ student is provided with a class card that explains the required skill-set that must be mastered for the particular course and records the test result and competency of each skill.

Several of The DogSmith’s most popular and fundamental programs will be offered in the flexible “Drop-In” format including  “Teen Dog Etiquette,” for puppies 6 to 8 months old, “Pet Dog Etiquette,” for puppies older than 6 months and “DogSmith Solutions,” a comprehensive general skills and obedience course.

Tudge explains that “shelters and rescue groups are filled with dogs surrendered because of behavioral issues that can easily be prevented or solved through basic obedience training and life management skills so this is our contribution to helping ensure pets become, and stay, family.”

If you would like more information on these and other programs visit www.DogSmith.com.

About The DogSmith

The DogSmith Franchise Services Inc. is a Florida based company whose mission is to enhance the lives of pets and their owners by improving their relationship, and the quality of the life they share, through providing professional support and training to pet dog owners, supporting and assisting animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals and offering affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden. To learn more about, or to become, a DogSmith Dog Trainer, visit www.DogSmith.com or call 1-888-364-7648

DogSmith Canine Rescue Resources Program

Contact: Rick Ingram
DogSmith Franchise Services
PO Box 608 Vernon FL 32462
Phone: 1.888.364.7648


The DogSmith® Inc. a national dog training, dog walking and pet sitting company launches a program to provide free resources and support for animal rescue groups and shelters.

Florida – The DogSmith, a national dog training, dog walking and pet care franchise has created a no cost Rescue Resources Program for animal rescue groups and shelters. The DogSmith Canine Rescue Resource Program is provided by locally owned and operated DogSmith franchises and is divided into two parts, one for the shelter staff and the other for shelter patrons and adopters.

The program for the shelter staff consists of Behavioral Assessment Programs to help match rescued dogs and cats with appropriate homes, volunteers to provide expert animal training and care, dog handling seminars, animal nutrition seminars, dog obedience workshops, animal enrichment programs and webinars on managing animal rescue organizations. The program for adopters provides for pet selection programs to help match families to pets, monthly puppy ownership seminars, introduction seminars on pet dog obedience, monthly puppy seminars & socialization workshops, and 20% discount on group training classes.

Each DogSmith Franchise partners with a local animal shelter or rescue organization in support of the DogSmith Mission to “provide professional support and training to pet dog owners, support and assist humane societies, animal shelters and rescue organizations to minimize the number of unwanted animals, and offer affordable and professional care to family pets so that pet ownership is never a burden.”

According to the founder, Niki Tudge, “We believe by providing these free services to shelters and rescue groups we can help increase the adoptability of dogs and cats from the shelter environment, help reduce the number of animals that are returned to the rescue organization and help prevent animals being surrendered in the first place since a large percentage of animals turned in to shelters are for behavioral issues which can easily be corrected with training.”

To learn more about this program contact your local DogSmith at 888-DogSmith (364-7648) or complete an application at www.888dogsmith.com.

For additional information on The DogSmith contact Rick Ingram by phone at 888-Dog-Smith (364-7648), or by email at RIngram@888DogSmith.com. You can also visit their website at http://www.888dogsmith.com.