Archives for January 2010

Are You a Compliant Animal Training Client?

compliant animal training client percentageAre you a compliant animal training client?

Let’s hope so because if you aren’t, the truth is that you are driving your animal trainer crazy!

I guess we should consider it job security but when you take pride in your work, the reward isn’t just the money you receive in exchange for those services, it is the changes in behavior and the lives of your clients that really are the positive reinforcers.

Recently I spoke with a client who has not been following up on a few directives she was given once I finished training her animal.

To say it is disheartening is an understatement because she fails to make changes that will benefit both her and her animal.

But, animals tend to be my priority, so even when I am busy with something else, if an animal appears it catches my attention—and so many animals tend to ask me for what they need.

On a day-to-day basis, pet owners seem to have a very different set of priorities than I do!

When one of the regional papers interviewed a neighbor in my community and she told them I was like the pied piper because all the animals ran up to me and knew me—and visa versa.

Anyway, it never ceases to amaze me when people hire an animal professional (of any type) and then fail to follow through.

They must be motivated to get help but I see and hear about the lack of compliance all the time.

Now in the past client’s case it is not just behavioral, it is something important that helps her to monitor her animal to keep him healthy—both behaviorally and physically.

It doesn’t take but about five minutes a week to monitor one thing and only about ten minutes twice a day on the other…the kicker is, when something goes wrong, she blames it on the animal and takes no responsibility for creating the situation.

If pressed, she makes excuses and perpetuates myths she wants to believe are true.

Unfortunately, she is not alone in this world. Lots of people perpetuate myths about animals and their behavior.

At one time, when I still took clients without referrals, I’d prepare a history and training assessment report for the veterinarian’s file.

There was a section that actually anticipated the percentage of compliance I expected from the client.

In my work of behavior modification, I can measure and predict the progress of a client based on their compliance and diligence.

Those who adhere to the schedule assigned move along quickly, while those that don’t might need to see me again at a longer interval between sessions—otherwise they waste my time and theirs.


Unless they commit the time to building a solid foundation and to make steady progress to move forward in animal training or behavior modification program–it won’t happen or if it does–it takes eons.

If you are not meeting the goals your animal trainer has set for you, or you are not adhering to the program your animal trainer or behavior consultant gave to you—I want to know why.

Seriously, help me to understand why not. Is it a priority issue? Do you love your animal trainer so much you can’t bear to complete the program?

On the other hand, if you are compliant, tell me what motivates you to be so diligent.

In either case, I’d love to hear your story in the comments.

Trailer Loading (Clicker Training Video)

One of my regular comment participants here is Mary. She filmed this horse training loading video on the second day of training.

Training an animal to load can be a nightmare for a variety of reasons. The key is to create a positive association and to communicate clearly.

I’d be interested in seeing how the horse does after a ride or two.

I’ll be back with a training post but I am in a storm area of California where we are getting serious snow. So, in between clearing a path out, power outages, etc., I’ll have something more for you soon!

Drop by and check outMary’s blog–thanks for the video Mary!