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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sent Bailey, my lab, to the trainer last week for the first time. I was intending to train her myself, but it turned out to be a little too much for me. What is the common protocol for checking in with the trainer? She's been there for two weeks and I know it's way too early, but I just want to know how things are going. I also don't want to be a bother either.
 

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It is my opinion that when your pro calls you it works best. Depending on who your pro is you have to remember they have a family and would like time with them when the day is over. I would wait at least a month because by then usually they have something to report.
 

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I think it is reasonable to expect a phone call or email from the trainer at least once a month. For your part, keep the call brief. Trainers work long days and the call will probably during their family time.

Since this is the first month, and the first time with this trainer, I would call in a week or so if you have not heard from them. An email lets the response come when possible.

When you do have communication with the trainer, asking how often you can expect communication would be a fair question.
 

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As a trainer, I like it best when a client txts me or shoots me an email. Phone call is fine too. And I make sure to tell the client this at our first meeting so we are clear on everything; If you want an update, call me and let me know. I nearly always answer the phone immediately, and if not will call you back soon.
But as a general rule, I will not make the contact unless I need something from the owner or have something really pressing. And usually they call me every week or so anyways....

Hope this helps!

Abby Eash
 

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Ask your pro what is an acceptable frequency to them and what days/times are preferred.

Initially, mine didn't mind a Friday phone call for an update each week.
 

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Was nothing said when you dropped the dog off about how the communication would be?

When my dog was with a pro for basics he told me to count on a monthly update but that he'd call more often if there was something to report. If I got anxious and wanted to check in I'd shoot him a text so I wasn't interrupting what he was doing with a phone call and he'd get back to me when he could.

I guess the simple answer is, ask your pro what's appropriate and how he would prefer you reach out to him.

.
 

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My trainer lives and breaths dog training. He is consumed with it, in addition to being a full time Dad. I probably get 1-2 calls a week from him. Got a picture of my puppy on the FF table showing me her progress a couple of weeks ago. Usually get text or phone updates from trials after each series. Certainly can't complain about the communication. It is his life and it doesn't take him that much extra time.
 

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I remember leaving my dog with a trainer for the first time. Very hard for me, I cried all the way home. The dog was scared to death to be there and was wailing when I left. I didn't sleep for a week because I was trying to tough it out and not bother the trainer. I finally called and was nicely reassured how well things were going! My trainer said the dog was fine within a couple of hours and was great from then on! He said I was being crazy not to call! To call anytime!! :p:p

Now I just so happen to live with a trainer and I always tell his clients to call anytime!! Plus they get test messages, e-mails etc. Some clients check in every few days others not for 2 months. Just depends.

Certainly feel free to contact your trainer, shouldn't be a problem. They might not have the phone on them but will return calls in evenings. Or in our situation get the family members phone number, that works too! :D:D
 

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it takes 10 days to two weeks for your dog to get adjusted to his new surroundings, i doubt your pro has anything much to report yet---give it a month and he'll have something relevant to tell you.
GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I got the impression that she wants a month before she reports on progress. She has a specific program that she does and Bailey will come back for a time after 3-4 months and then back for 4-5 months if all goes well.
 

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Was nothing said when you dropped the dog off about how the communication would be?

When my dog was with a pro for basics he told me to count on a monthly update but that he'd call more often if there was something to report. If I got anxious and wanted to check in I'd shoot him a text so I wasn't interrupting what he was doing with a phone call and he'd get back to me when he could.

I guess the simple answer is, ask your pro what's appropriate and how he/she would prefer you reach out to him.

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Bingo!!

Angie
 

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It's your dog! Call.
You haven't worked out the specifics yet. Call,talk to the trainer.Work it out.
Ask him/her what is a good time to call.
It's your dog. You want to know what's going on.
CALL and work it out.
 

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My trainer lives and breaths dog training. He is consumed with it, in addition to being a full time Dad. I probably get 1-2 calls a week from him. Got a picture of my puppy on the FF table showing me her progress a couple of weeks ago. Usually get text or phone updates from trials after each series. Certainly can't complain about the communication. It is his life and it doesn't take him that much extra time.
It helps that he is a freak at multi-tasking with a phone
 

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It helps that he is a freak at multi-tasking with a phone
He just updated to the I-Phone 4G so he will be a faster freak!!!

Freakishly Fast Regards,

Aaron
 

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My Chessie left just over 2 weeks ago and it's the first dog that we've ever sent away. Like others have said it's tough, especially initially and even more so for my wife. However our trainer has been great about keeping in touch and even texted me a picture of them working in the field. He was very clear of what types and frequency of communication we should expect and I appreciated that. He's been a great sport about returning my wife's two calls and making her feel at ease with the whole situation. As a client I can't tell you how those little things make me all the more confident in our trainer and the decision we made to go with him. The communications we receive have changed my wife's outlook from missing the dog AND not totally being on board to being excited about the process and wanting to participate. Sure we still miss him but hey we know he's having a blast and we're not worried now right?! All because of a phone call or two and a picture! That's invaluable to me and better for the dog when everyone is on the same page. I have no doubt that it's not the most convenient thing for trainers to do and I have no desire to be pain in the tail client #1 but don't you think that as a client I'm now more inclined to A) trust him implicitly B) send the dog to him for more training which translates to more $ and C) Recommend him? Assuming everything continues on its current path I can assure you I will...and that's not even necessarily based on the dog's progress or success which I fully acknowledge the trainer can't totally control.
 

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Lots of good replies here.

I tell a client to call any time, but to expect that during the day I'm unlikely to be at my desk; leave a message and I'll return the call. I keep my cell phone in the dog truck, but I don't carry it around with me - they don't work well after being dropped in the mud or a pond.

I normally don't phone the client (outside of returning their call) unless there's something critical that I need to talk with them about. I send them a detailed email every couple of weeks if I haven't received a call from them.

I prefer email, because it allows me to reply anytime, and it provides a record of the discussion. Having that record helps me with the next update I give the client - I can refer to what we covered in a previous message so that the most recent is always a good follow-on from the last. I think the client appreciates that too, as it gives them a better sense of their dog's progression.

Clients are usually very understanding that I have other dogs and owners to stay in touch with, and most are very considerate of my time... "most" being the operative word here. Although I fully appreciate how an owner misses their best friend, a weekly update is in my opinion more frequent than neccessary. So much of the work consists of repetitive practice and a long progression of little baby steps, that from one week to the next there often isn't a whole lot to say that wasn't discussed a week earlier. Breakthroughs or major accomplishments don't happen every week.

So, owners should feel free to contact their trainer any time, and should reasonably expect the trainer to initiate communication at least once a month. The trainer should reasonably expect the client to be understanding and considerate of a trainer's schedule - we do put in long days, and the nature of the work makes unscheduled calls, and especialy unscheduled visits really disruptive.

Jeff
 
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