A few months ago I decided that my dog Molly needed to go back to school. Even though she had been through two training courses and her Canine Good Citizen class there were still issues that had to be addressed. She didn’t like strangers and was developing issues with other dogs.
I found a great trainer in the area where I live (Shiloh K9 Dog Obedience in Glennie, MI). The original intent was to put Molly in his board and train program. She was going to live with him for two to four weeks go under intensive training. Unfortunately, he was booked for the next month. He suggested we bring in Molly once a week for private lessons.
For the next four weeks I brought Molly into his training center and we began my training. Molly was the ideal student. Once she understood what we were asking of her she did as asked. None of the issues we talked about appeared. I know for sure the trainer thought my mom and I were nuts. Why would we put a well-mannered dog through doggy school?
So the trainer, my mom, and I sat down again and went over the issues. The trainer decided to leave my mom and me in the center alone with Molly. He went out one door. Then he came knocking at another door. You guessed it. My dear Psycho Molly appeared! See…we weren’t crazy after all.
Prior to this test the trainer determined she was not an aggressive dog. His suspicion was that she was acting out in fear. It made sense now. Half of Molly’s life was spent alone with me. She felt she was needed to protect me and my house. Her problems with the dogs she did not know came about from attacks at the local dog park (she was always happy-go-lucky and ready for a good game of chase until a few untrained dogs at various times decided to take her down).
We now knew the problem. We now developed a plan. The trainer then gave me the tools to address those problems and let Molly become the dog we knew her to be. I also purchased some items to help me utilize what he taught me better at home. It took and expert and the right training (I was being trained not Molly; Molly was responding to what I asked of her).
What is the purpose of this story? Sometimes we need to turn to an expert to help us find the problem and help us get the tools to resolve it. Too many times, as business owners, we try to go it alone. We either don’t have the extra money to pay for the help or we’re too busy trying to keep the business running. Sometimes it takes an expert to put on the right track (SCORE is a great place to start). Maybe we need to get the right training or purchase the right tools (Constant Contact is a great tool to help market your business and the certified Solution Providers and ALEs are some of the best at what they do and can help you along the way).
Either way, find a way to get the help you need. Your business’ life depends on you just like Molly’s life depended on me.
(The picture is of Molly and Nelly in doggy school. They are learning the "watch me" command. This helps them to focus on me. Ideally I only need to give them hand signals over verbal ones.)
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