How to tell the ‘real’ dog lovers

I am working for several dog service businesses where the only requirement for employment is being available for work , and stating that you love dogs. That’s it.

You do not have to have ever owned a dog.  You do not have to have ever trained a dog. You don’t need to know one breed from the next.  It’s not like the employers are desperate, either. We have plenty of people ‘job shadowing’ our more experienced employees.  It’s that the people doing the hiring seem to think  finding a good employee is like  making a bulls-eye.  It’s sort of:  the luck of the draw.

I don’t believe that—but I am not doing the hiring.   One facility has hired 2 young women who state they have grooming experience.  Yet, when I ask about a favorite breed, neither can name one breed they like more than another.

How can this be?  How can you say you love dogs, but not like the traits of one breed, or  type, than another?  How can you say you like the temperaments of all the dogs?    For the last several centuries, hobbyists, fanciers, & working people have been breeding dogs—defining breeds—to meet specific needs.  How can you say it makes no difference?

Some of thee people think they want to learn to groom dogs. They  don’t brush their own dog.  I wonder—how do they think they will learn to make a dog look good if they don’t care about dog  conformation?  If you don’t have a vision of the ideal  dog of that breed in your mind’s eye, how can you make the dog look good?

One of the first dog books I ever read was called, Champion Dog:  Prince Tom.  It was written by Jean Fritz and Tom Clute, published by Scholastic Book Service, 5th printing in 1966—& I still have a copy of the book!  It’s about a guy who gets a Cocker Spaniel pup, has no idea what he is doing, and ultimately trains the dog to several AKC obedience titles.

What was important about that book, to me, was that it was about a regular person who learned how to train his dog.  There was hope for me, a kid, to learn to train a dog!

When dog people get together, they talk about   what they’ve read, what they’ve heard, and dogs, dogs, dogs.  We make a point to go to performance events & to continue to learn about dogs because….WE LOVE DOGS.  We love dogs enough to care  about how they think, what keeps them healthy, and how we can have better relationships with them.

The people who take the time to do this—to learn about all aspects of  caring for dogs—are the real dog lovers.  Not the people who tell you  that they ‘love’ dogs, but don’t care about reading about them or learning about them.

Yet—-that is what is happening to the  industry:  they are  opening dog grooming shops, day care centers, and kennels.  Clients are falling for the marketing.

So….is there one of these businesses near you? Stop in and ask the employees about their dog experience.


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