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Dog Trainer? Is that really what I am?

I sometimes tell other people I am a dog trainer or a puppy trainer. Sometimes I even include those words on my website to describe what The Puppy School of Fort Collins offers. But the truth is these words do not accurately describe what I do -- or indeed what most professional "dog trainers" do. I consider myself more of an educator and a coach than a dog trainer. I try to educate both people and dogs on a variety of matters, and then I coach them to successfully apply what they learn. The educational effort for people centers mostly on how to effectively communicate with dogs and how to cultivate a relationship of mutual respect. The dog's education focuses mostly on teaching them English as a foreign language and on informing them about some of our "weird" (to a dog) human rules that make living together with the human family more comfortable for everyone. So, the next time someone asks if I am a dog trainer, it may take me more than a simple "yes" or "no" to answer that apparently simple question.

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