I’ve compiled a list of tips to share with the non-dog-training people in your life. You know. So they can keep living.
Tuck this under their cereal bowl in the morning or tape it to the bathroom mirror. Chances are, if they've never encountered a dog trainer in her natural habitat, they have no idea how to behave and need guidance. Sometimes they do know how to behave but need a gentle reminder.
TIPS FOR SURVIVING - oops - LIVING WITH DOG TRAINERS
First, leave your dog trainer alone when they’re training, much like leaving a dog alone when it's eating. Unless you’re volunteering to be an active participant in the process, your input is not required. Do not, under any circumstances, try to initiate a conversation about when supper will be ready. It will be ready when it’s damned good and ready. Continued interruptions will delay your supper further. Like for three days.
When your trainer comes home from a trial with THAT look on her face, offer her an adult beverage. Put a frozen pizza in the oven for supper and ask, gently, how the day went. Bonus points if you offer to help her train after supper.
Before committing to any family holiday, wedding, retirement party, funeral, colonoscopy, heart surgery, barn raising or pilgrimage to Mecca, check with your dog trainer’s calendar to be sure it doesn’t conflict with a trial, lesson, seminar, group session or power grooming day. If it does, you’re going alone. Get used to it.
Realize trainers often go to their happy place while in the midst of non-dog-training activities. If you ask what she plans to take to the family reunion potluck and she says, “Scent articles with a cat in the pile,” walk away and ask again later. Better yet, be responsible for your own potluck dish cuz you’re probably going by yourself anyway.
Never, under any circumstances, tell your dog trainer, “Maybe you should find a different hobby.” She may come home depressed, demoralized, bleeding, limping, frustrated, bankrupt, disgruntled, with a speeding ticket and pneumonia but she does not want another hobby. So shut up already.
When you feel compelled to give training advice, look in the mirror first. Has the person looking back at you titled a dog at the same level or higher than your dog trainer? Then you know what to do. Repeat after me. Keep. Your. Mouth. Shut.
|Dog brought back a ball you threw.|
Now you're an expert on the directed retrieve?
Interesting . . .
Refrain from asking how much money your dog trainer earned over the weekend. In fact, avoid the topic of money – whether incoming or outgoing – all together. It’s not going to end anywhere you want to go.
Give your dog trainer gifts of wash-and-wear clothing in colors that compliment her dog. Breed jewelry and lint rollers are also acceptable gifts. Anything that requires dry cleaning will go in the back of the closet, never to be seen again.
Smile agreeably when your dog trainer announces she is going get up at 5:30 a.m. to train before work. Do not suggest she get up at 5:30 a.m. to clean the house before work.
Never ask your trainer if she wishes she had (insert winning breed of current year’s NOC) instead of her chosen breed. The look you will get could drop a Special Forces team in their tracks. You don’t stand a chance.
Never tell your trainer you could do as good of a job training her dog as she does. She may hand you the leash. If she’s smiling, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Learn to appreciate your trainer’s creative mastery of the English language when she gets home from a show weekend and describes the judging panel, show site, weather, competitors, food vendor, parking conditions and questionable activities taking place at the hotel at 2 a.m.
Never question why she has four sets of scent articles, each one differing in size by increments of 1/8”. Or five dumbbells for one dog. If you feel yourself overcome with an overwhelming need for explanation, just stuff your fist in your mouth and bite down until it passes. If you’re not a dog trainer, you won't get it. Sorry. That’s just the way it is.
|The way to a trainer's heart |
is through heel position.
And finally, if at a loss for how to interact with your trainer, try standing on her left side and gazing at her with rapt attention. Dog trainers have a soul-deep connection to this and it will open lines of communication faster than flowers and chocolates.