Perhaps the most revealing factor concerning the ultimate success or failure of dog obedience instructors is their continued personal growth. To be sure, this growth is a state of the art called development. Surprisingly, but true, technical abilities play a comparatively minor role in the overall training program, yet they continue to be given top priority over one’s own personal development. Being yourself and improving that self’s conduct and character rather than attempting to impersonate successful competitors is the key to success.
Technical abilities remain ineffective without communication and cooperation. Motivation and spirit depend on attitude and enthusiasm. Cleanliness and neatness are indicative of personal respect. Mental and emotional equilibrium with direction produces leadership. Disposition, moral strength, appearance, and emotion truly command the attention of the general public and our canine pals.
Reputation, good or bad, is the value accorded by the community, and believe me, that value is determined not by those evaluating your technical expertise, but by the im- pression your profession has made on the community. It is not required, nor is it expected, that you excel in technical knowledge; however, it is mandatory that your overall impression is pleasing and producing. If you are blessed with common sense, a genuine concern for your fellow man, a love and respect for dogs along with the desire to improve, you will in my opinion undoubtedly succeed.
©1973 J. R. Kenner