Let’s think about love language. For example: quality time spent, cuddles, and gift-giving. As the weather turns colder, it’s easy to get swept up on the warm, cinnamon-scented trail of purchasing, wrapping, and gifting our hearts out. Here’s a resolution: Make your gifting money count. Gift-giving is, ideally, a mutually-beneficial activity. The giver receives warmth, while the recipient receives something they can use and appreciate.
We at Summit are spending the first days of the holiday season with this in mind: we hope that when someone purchases dog training as a gift for another, their money goes as far as possible – generating both the warm fuzzies and the utility. We have to charge for our training sessions and classes, of course, but we definitely aren’t just in it for the money. We like to help clients reach their goals, and to feel productive and connected to their dogs while doing it. It’s tough to feel like the session isn’t the best use of your money. Here are a couple of questions to ask first to help determine whether or not dog training is the right gift to give.
What are your recipient’s training goals? Are you sure that the goals you have in mind are on their mind as well? That can happen if the recipient can’t think of anywhere they would like to go with training. Also, recipients sometimes worry that the gift means there’s undesirable behavior they’ve been ignoring or haven’t noticed. It’s alright to chat with the potential recipient about their dogs openly, and to discern whether or not they see eye to eye with you about their dog’s behavior.
Does the recipient have time to spend on training? We also know that a lot of humans and pups have training goals, but just don’t have the time to work on them right now. Check that your recipient has the schedule flexibility for training sessions, and that now is the best time for them to fit them in. At the expense of the surprise, you might save the expense of a session that doesn’t feel productive, or that feels rushed. Or, you might find out that training is the perfect gift! Or, that it would be better given another time, due to seasonal scheduling constraints.
What is the best way to deliver your gift to make sure your recipient actually receives it? Don’t purchase training and then send it off into the ether. Make sure your gift has a confirmed delivery location to get to your recipient, since no trainer is able to work with a dog they can’t find! (This suggestion is based on a real example - last Christmas someone bough a large gift certificate and the details they provided for delivery were incorrect. After a year of repeated efforts to contact both the giver and the recipient with no luck, we are donating this training package to one of our shelter partners.)
Training works best when the pup and human are both engaged and interested. Make sure your recipient wants to train, and that they believe their dog can benefit from it. We adore our clients and want them to love working with us too, and the best way to do this is to make sure that dog training gift recipients feel like training is fun and important, not emotionally or logistically difficult. To you as a potential gift-giver, our is not to dissuade you from giving the gift of dog training, but to make sure that you have spent you money well. We want your message to reach your recipient in a love language that is clear.
We can’t wait to train with those of you who can’t wait to train with us!
(Still thinking about giving the gift of dog training? Check out our Gift Certificates on sale through Cyber Monday for 25% off the redemption value!)