Dog trainer urges pet owners to ‘do better’ in viral video

Professional dog trainer Emilee Mahar recently went viral after post a TikTok video asking pet owners to “do better”. She says the reason most dog owners struggle to find trainers and groomers is because the pet industry is “drowning” and therefore no longer accepting new clients. She says the main problem is the actions and attitudes of pet owners, which she says hurt their pets and, in turn, hurt the professionals as well.

“There’s a really big problem in the animal industry right now and no one is talking about it,” Mahar says at the start of his video. The problem in question is that pet owners do not properly care for their pets and blame professionals for their pets’ problems instead of taking responsibility for them. To illustrate her point, she begins by describing her own experiences as a dog trainer.

“My training center is incredibly overwhelmed,” she says. “We are full for months for all our services.”

To schedule an appointment with Mahar, a potential client must first read their website and complete a 50-question survey. They then have to wait two months and pay a small fee to meet her and find out whether or not she will accept them as a client. While that may sound harsh, she says she instituted this system for a good reason.

“People will pay thousands of dollars to send their dog to a trainer, and they won’t follow through,” she explains. “We put our blood, sweat and tears into training people’s dogs, and they don’t follow through.”

If a pet owner doesn’t keep up with their dog’s training while at home, a dog’s behavior may never improve. Thus, problems with listening, biting, aggression, etc. could potentially become long-term problems.

“Your dog is in pain,” Mahar says.

According to Mahar, pet owners who don’t listen to their trainers give a variety of reasons for not listening. From talking to other dog trainers, she learned that people who disagree with an establishment’s methods sometimes call the trainers “animal abusers.” Some went so far as to call PETA to investigate. And when a pet’s behavior doesn’t improve over time, the owner will leave a one-star rating, which can be detrimental to a small business.

A dog trainer has gone viral for telling pet owners to “do better” and keep their training at home. Here, a dog is patiently waiting for a treat.
nortonrsx/iStock

But trainers are not the only professionals in the pet industry to encounter this problem. She goes on to say that a groomer in her area has not accepted new clients for three years.

“I know of grooming facilities that no longer accept walk-ins because people are pissed off their Goldendoodle being shaved when they’re the ones not brushing their dog,” she says.

Not grooming a dog properly can lead to matted and sore fur.

Bad reviews and angry customers hurt professionals, Mahar says. And in his opinion, the only way to solve this problem is to create higher standards for pet owners.

“Just because you put a roof over your dog’s head, feed him, and get him medical care, doesn’t mean he’s still not neglected.”

Newsweek reached out to Mahar for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

TikTokers were quick to praise Mahar for his comments.

“AMEN,” said a commenter named Sara. “I’ve been in pet services for over 3 years and it’s mind blowing how little pet owners do and know.”

“YOU ARE RIGHT,” another commenter agreed. “People want decorations. Toys. They don’t want a live animal that requires hard work and causes frustration.”

7/26/21 The story has been updated to reflect that Mahar’s establishment hasn’t received bad reviews due to upset dog owners or hearing from PETA; however, other facilities have.

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