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Best Choice for Dog Trainers in Norwich

Best Norwich Dog Trainers

Norwich Dog Training School Best Choice For Trainers

Best Choice for Dog Trainers in Norwich

We are not great fans of ‘dog dealers’ and those who trying to make big business out of dog training for a number of reasons:

A great friend of mine once coined the phrase ‘A little knowledge is a dangerous thing’….

Over the years I have been hugely indebted to some great friends – who whether they like it or not, have surreptitiously influenced me over the years in both the way that I think and to a large part; the way that I train. None have had a greater overall influence on me than Doris Ware, whose energy and passion for all things canine, I still hold dear and when I fondly recollect the countless memories of her from the depths of my mind, always brings a smile to my face.

Doris was very well-known canine personality locally, she was responsible for organising, running, judging countless Dog Shows in the Norfolk area, and raising many thousands for Charity, besides being a well-known trainer at several clubs for both obedience and ring craft. Amongst her busy schedule, she organised trips abroad for ‘us locals’ to some of the largest European and World dogs shows to widen our perspectives. Little did she know then, but Doris steered my canine career (then just a hobby) to where it is today. Doris was a larger-than-life character who helped so many people on their canine journey. 

To say the least, Doris was a very bright cookie and formulated so may ‘sayings’ that she could athletically draw upon to trip up any individual, who was stupid enough to challenge her. Which thankfully didn’t happen very often for it was plain to see – she had a lifetime of skills and experiences that she could draw on to handle every situation. Perhaps the most pertinent proverb I can remember coming from Doris’s lips was the phrase ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’ (Doris Ware circa 1980). This is something I’ve learned to appreciate, more and more these days, as the ‘Canine World’ is now resonate with individuals who have only been around a short while, having completed an online course or having visited a trainer or two and now think they can cash in on dogs as a means to make a living. Most of these have dreams of making ‘big money’, while they often have little empathy or understanding of dogs themselves.

In today’s ‘dog eat dog’ World, so many people want everything ‘right here, right now’ without taking the time to acquire the skills and knowledge; that the majority of enthusiasts normally gain overtime and through experience. These days it seems, so many people are incapable of independent thought or have the desire to gain real-world experience. Thinking that knowledge should be handed to them on a plate, through simply reading a few ‘how to books’; shadowing a trainer or two or even following the more underhand method of seeking help with their own dog, while having aspirations to simply to copy and sell on. Perhaps not surprising these days is the number of budding trainers that are too lazy for this and follow the numerous online training platforms that are gaining popularity. Whereby the owner(s) of the platform has seen a the real business opportunity to make some big bucks, and offers online crash courses. Once completed, the would-be trainer can then naively reach for the sky, as they embark on a career in dog training, putting themselves forward as being an expert. Sadly, in this technological area, so more of the newer trainers seem to be armed with little more than an electronic collar and think they have this ‘training thing’ all wrapped up, as they them set themselves up exploit social media for business.

Many of these technology reliant trainers, seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that within the UK, there are powerful lobbyist groups who have made it their objective to outlaw the technology (already banned in Wales), and almost succeeded in February 2024. But they haven’t given up, and will go on until success is finally achieved. While there is an argument for the technology to be used as last resort for some situations, after all else has failed. There is a growing collegiate of trainers, who favour the technology as there go to resource, their first strategy as being a quick and easy route to follow (for themselves), employing the technology for even the simplest of tasks and damming the consequences should they get it wrong,  since they can always get another dog. The more adherent e-collar trainers will spend thousands on the most expensive covert technology, to hide the fact that they’re reliant on e-collars. Often using wide, bright and colourful collars to distract and disguise the technology hiding beneath. Even using overt finger controllers to conceal the remote-control handsets. Some systems have phone apps can be used remotely change the collar from vibrate to stim (shock).

While most seasoned trainers, understand what the technology can be used for – they resist using it, except as a last resource. Considering the technology to be a form of ‘cheating’ and accepting that most dogs are trained for fun and as a hobby. So have more empathy for their, animals rather than these quick fix trainers. To the educated, so many animals trained this way, lose the ‘natural look’ of a working animal and appear almost automatonlike. Just check out YouTube and you will see countless examples. But as we’ve allured to – arguably the technology has it is place as a last resort for some dogs under certain circumstances (e.g. livestock killers), but really not for those who train for ‘fun’ or ‘sport’.    

Easy money   

I’m a firm believer that the driver for quick financial success is down to the ease and speed with which some ‘media influencers’ seem to get rich quick – almost overnight or so it seems, when comparing it to the long-term commitment and hard graft the vast majority of us undergo with more ‘normal’ jobs. But then again, let’s face it; most people don’t have the aspirations or the need and greed for a brand-new Roller, they are quite content with their lot or have not having been fortunate enough to win the lottery or have wealthy parents to grease the wheels. For as they say, ‘money goes to money’.

As I’m sure you’re already aware, YouTube, Facebook and the other portals, directly and indirectly encourages ‘budding influencers’ to place copious amounts video on their platforms, covering just about any topic you can imagine from the useful to the obscure to even the dam right stupid. Many subjects repeated again and again, by countless ‘influencers’ that are all to often so similar, that there’s hardly a cigarette paper’s difference between them. All this is done in an effort to reach the holy grail of  the coveted ‘viral’ viewing to enabling the ‘influencer’ to claim ‘celebrity’, and to then sit back and watch the money come flooding in.

If you’ve been around for as long as me, you cannot but notice that in recent years, the ‘dog industry’ has become more commercial than ever. Whether it’s dog food, merchandise, veterinary care, grooming services, training or breeding. Unfortunately, countless numbers of dogs have suffered in its wake at an alarming rate. All one has to do is to look the way vet fees have soared in recent times or consider the empirical evidence in relation to ‘XL Bully’ mania that is tantamount of what can so easily go horribly wrong, when unscrupulous people create a demand for an animal, that sensibly doesn’t have a rightful place in today’s society. As very few sensible people, would ever want a fighting dog to be sitting in their living room, playing in front of the fire with their young children. Long gone are the days of fighting with dogs which was outlawed in 1835, but is still sadly still out ‘underground’ by the criminal fraternity. So it beggar’s belief, why thousands of ‘pet owners’ would really want a dog with a gladiator heritage. But as everyone knows, the UK is full of people that want the latest fashion accessory or want a dog they can intimidate others with, craving an animal to make them ‘look hard’ or feed their ego. And there will always be others, who want to try and prove to themselves or others, that there’s no such thing as a bad dog,  and while for the the majority this will be correct. It doesn’t get away from the fact that large number of the dogs will fall into the wrong hands – people who acquire the animals for the reasons given, and this is where it all goes horribly wrong with tragic consequences.

Popularity Destroys

History, again and again, repeats itself with the ‘herd instinct’ of the masses causing untold damage to countless once useful breeds, as they become ‘fashionable’ for all the wrong reasons. All one has to do is look at the history of the German Shepherd, Dobermann, Rottweiler and the on-going saga with XL bully, now that the commercial bubble has burst. Where uncountable, irresponsible dealers jumped onto the commercial ‘band wagon’ to sell poorly bred animals to thousands of people. Only to see it go full circle now, with the dealers becoming desperate to dispose of their  ‘stock’ by whatever means, as their ‘cash cow’ has now died. The ‘breeds’ brief history has been well documented, having been infiltrated by organised criminals juxtaposed with the complications this attracts. Currently these unscrupulous dealers are looking for the next big thing, as ‘influencers’ talk up the next big craze from which they can profit. Whether it’s the Cane Corso; Dutch, Belgian Shepherd; Chinese Red Dog; Boerboel or any of their respective mixes or some newly created type being given a ‘designer name’ in an attempt to lure purchasers, whether it’s Bandogs, Alaunts or Canis Panthers and the alike, as the term mongrel or Heinz 57 has lost favour with the buying public. As potential buyers would undoubtedly shy away from paying vast sums for such dogs described as such, they require a pseudo name to conjure up an image to hood wink them to desire.

This calculated marketing is often carried out by deceitful individuals, whose dogs are often no more than genetic Canine Frankenstein’s riddled with character or health defects as very few dog dealers have doctorates in genetic engineering. Producing these animals without carrying out any recognised health checks on the parents or offspring. The sad fact of life is that most of these animals will end being sold or rescued by ‘typical’ families living in flats or houses with small gardens. Whose owners who will in the main, all to often fail to train and exercise their animals properly, and herein lies the caveat – the development of yet another ticking time bomb for the next canine disaster to keep the ‘authorities’ (police, hospitals, vets, media, insurers, lawyers and Government) busy for sometime time to come. Unless the Government brings in some proper licensing and controls of not only who breeds and owns these animals – and what they are used for, then these problems will continue to occur.  

Commercial, Corporate, franchise dog trainers

The drive for quick and big profits is now spilling over to dog training. In years gone by, the budding trainers of tomorrow, spent years training dogs at clubs, entering competitions and learning from others before developing techniques of their own. Most had no real intention to use the skills they acquired to build up training businesses; this was done as a hobby, for fun, a sport or passion. What appears to be happening today and shows strong a correlations to the invention to the term ‘celebrity’ or ‘influencer’ generated through the portals of YouTube, Facebook TikTok, TV which has directly (and indirectly) caused a scramble for many people to want to become dog trainers – perceiving it as a way to achieve ‘fame and fortune’ rather than passion. What is being witnessed today is that so manly so-called trainers have become ‘dog dealers’, trying to make embarrassing amounts of cash for little effort. Selling ‘trained dogs’ to a public that cannot be bothered to put in the time or effort to acquire the animals they desire or to train them; both pets and working dogs.

Many are purchased to give their owners a certain amount of perceived kudos to boast to friends in the pub, that their dog has been trained for ‘this or that’ to swell the owners ego. Often these animals are cheap imports; dogs that have been trained or partly trained overseas by whatever means to give dealers a quick profit. Masses are animals failed to make the grade in their homeland for reasons of health, beauty or perceived working ability by their ‘original’ trainer or dealer, and so they’re quickly moved on. Dogs which were effectively ‘binned’ are sold onto dealers in the UK in a lucrative business. But unfortunately, many of these dealers have little compassion for their animals, viewing them as little more than disposable stock that can be bought and sold, much in the same way as farmers sending off their animals to market or abattoir. Since, once out of sight, they’re out of mind apart from the cash that remains in the dealer’s hand. To add a little clarity, during a related conversation with a good friend, he asked, ‘how much would you sell your dog for?’ to which I replied ‘he’s priceless’, his response was ‘that’s it, good dogs are rarely available; people will only sell dogs they don’t want’.

In relatively recent years, more and more ‘Dog Training Businesses’ have popped up selling dogs to all and sundry and to the highest bidder. Charging anything from a few hundred pounds to many thousands (if they can get it). Wealthy individuals, desperate to get the next thing, but often lacking the knowledge, skills, patience, time or effort will waft large sums of cash before these dealers’ eyes. Many who would have little hesitation in selling off a close family members, let alone a dog which is unlikely to get a second thought. These businesses often buy in large numbers from overseas with the hope of turning them around quickly for profit. Many have multiple trainers to help manage the countless dogs they seek to move on. Some of these businesses, as they need to make ‘big money’ to fund the ‘army’ of employees they need to pay, so typically seek additional income from boarding, daycare, puppies, residential training, grooming, exercise parks, equipment, vet care etc as they attempt to lure those preferring the ‘corporate dog businesses’ or the ‘one stop shop’, rather than using people who offer more specific services.  

Countless people within the ‘industry’ are trying to corporatize dog training itself, by charging silly amounts of money for what is being offered. Whether selling on trained pet dogs, security dogs, gundogs etc and there are those that don’t have kennel facilities, who try to compete by offering services, whereby your dog lives with them in their home – but realistically it’s usually one of their ‘associates’, who will board your animal and spend a little time training it for a cool £1,500 or so a week. We don’t offer any of these services, and you may wish to read our blog on ‘Residential Dog Training’ for the reasons why.

With the proliferation of the internet, countless training associations have evolved offering budding trainers the ‘opportunity’ to follow one of their, usually online courses for a fee, and upon completion receive their accreditation. Some offer ‘associate’ memberships for which the ‘student’ pays for the privilege. Selected businesses offer mentoring services to help increase customer flow with online or telephone help, should the trainer be dumbfounded as to what to do next. Some training businesses, offer an almost off the shelf templates for websites with ‘photo bank’ images rather than ‘real client photos’; so their clients following their ideology’ can hit the ground running without having to think too much about what they offer. All in, it’s quite frightening, that so many people these days need so much hand holding, when it comes to training or running their businesses while they trade their services. Some trainers even appear to be operating under a type of franchise or at very least – plagiarising someone else.  

Many of the businesses set themselves up as limited companies, as they try to get bigger. Which raises the question of who is really helping you to train your dog, the person before you, or someone else hidden out of view or a remote trainer?

At NDTS my aspiration to train dogs has never come from an ambition to make lots of money by ‘corporatizing our training services’. In my previous careers, I’d spent many years within the corporate sector, so I’m fully aware of its pitfalls and downsides especially in terms of the chains of communication, and the lack of importance for the individual which is why we prefer to offer a personal service. My hobby has always been dog training with a few occasional shows and competitions thrown in ‘to keep my eye in’ so to speak including Championship shows and World Competition; but for me, this is not my real goal, as ‘once you’ve done it, you’ve done it’ and anything else is a bit like ‘groundhog day’. This has overtime evolved to become Norwich Dog Training School, that was created from a desire and love for dogs over many years. The most important ‘thing’ for me is the enjoyment, fun, companionship and love dogs have brought to my life for well over 48 years. To typify, one of the best parts of canine companionship is exampled that recently when my wife went out for the evening with her friends, she left me and the ‘boys’ at home to do whatever we wanted. On went the TV, the dogs jumped onto the sofa and we had a boys night in watching ‘The Walking Dead’ (the wife hates it) with a pint of cider. This simple pleasure for ‘life really doesn’t get much better than that’, me and the boys chilling out in front of the box.

What we are seeing today within the ‘dog industry’ is that there’s thousands of people out there trying to get rich quick; not so much for the a love of dogs, its more about whether their dog happens to make them look good, and they’ll utilise almost any measure to achieve it – and woefully, if the ‘dog fails’ it goes. Just check out social media to see what we mean. As all too often the most important element is feeding the trainers Ego, enabling them to try and convince yet more people that they’re the best for whatever reason.

As the dog industry ‘corporatizes’ all we can say is ‘What ever happened to individuality?….’. since this is what Norwich Dog Training School aims to deliver.

Norwich Dog Training School Schutzhund 3