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January 20, 2012

PetSafe® Expert

PetSafe® Guest

Can We Really Trust Remote Trainers?

Remote Trainers are our most criticized product, but we see more success stories than any other outcome. Several people question whether or not our Remote Trainers work and what effect they have on our dogs.

We recently hired a new Category Manager for Remote Training and he has brought a fresh set of eyes to the products. Below, he also answered many of the questions customers often have. Read on to learn what he thinks after just four months on the job.

  • What is your PetSafe story?

I came to PetSafe in October 2011 after a nearly three-year stint as a business development and proposal manager for a nuclear engineering contractor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  During my time in Oak Ridge I was also working toward my master’s degree at the University of Tennessee.  It was through that program that I made a connection to PetSafe. I chose to join PetSafe for the professional and personal growth opportunities. 

Professionally, it was a chance to combine my goal of developing products in a fast-paced, international marketplace with my lifelong love of dogs.  As a devout reader of leadership material, it would also allow me to work with and observe the Level-5 Leadership taking place on our senior staff.  Personally, I recognized the infectious energy of the PetSafe team and couldn’t resist being able to walk into that kind of environment every day.

  • Had you ever used a Remote Trainer before you started working at PetSafe?

I had a fair amount of interaction with remote training systems before arriving at PetSafe, but certainly did not come in as an expert.  Like many of our customers, I had seen the positive effects of remote training in my own household and in those of friends and family members.  In every situation, the pet-owner bond became much stronger and, consequently, the entire household became much happier.  The owner got the appropriate behavior and the pet was no longer being punished for something he or she didn’t understand.

  • What have you learned about remote training since you have been here?

You truly could fill volumes with the knowledge that PetSafe and its network of veterinarians and trainers have on the science of a dog’s psychology during training.  And the more you know the more you understand why remote training is so effective.  For example, I learned from professional trainer Robin MacFarlane that a dog can only connect reward or correction to his behavior if it happens within two seconds of the action.  So when you’re yelling at or praising your dog for something he did five minutes ago, he has no idea what’s going on.

  • What are the first steps a pet owner should take after they purchase a Remote Trainer?

Any training tool you and your dog use is going to be ineffective—possibly harmful—if the trainer does not use it properly.  Remote trainers are no different.  Those that are using a remote trainer for the first time should avoid rushing home and immediately going to work with their dog.  Instead, before going to work, they should take advantage of the many train-the-trainer resources available to them on the Web and in their community.    Yes, remote training is the most efficient and effective way to teach your dog ideal behavior.  But do your homework first to ensure that it is a positive experience for the pet.  Like most things in life, it will pay off if you’re willing to make the investment early.

  • What is the greatest benefit of Remote Trainers?

When behavior issues start to cause a problem for a family, that family can’t wait six or eight months to see a change.  Many owners give up their pets to shelters after one or two major incidents.  Remote training advocates from homemakers to professional trainers have proven over and over that, when used properly, this method gets positive results within days.  And by “positive” I don’t just mean for the human. For hundreds of years dogs have been bred to be companion animals.  No matter what your priorities are, a relationship with you is #1 to your pet.  Remote training is all about making sure that that relationship is a good one:  that yelling and spanking is replaced by mental workouts that are promptly rewarded. 

  • What commands should the pet parent teach first?

Just as kindergarteners start with the ABCs, so too should your pet start with the basics.  Begin with simple commands that are important in social settings.  These include walking together while distractions occur and coming upon command (you can start with a physical leash attached and work up from there).  After he graduates with these fundamentals, you can move to more challenging exercises like going to a designated spot and staying. 

What has been your experience with Remote Trainers been? Let us know in the comment section below.

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