Success vs. Progress
A question I get asked a lot by inquisitive dog-owners is “What is your success rate with this type of case?” – or alternatively, “How likely do you think it is that you’ll be able to help us?” I get the question most commonly when confronted with dog-on-dog aggression cases, but also often when dealing with separation anxiety, hyperactivity, and pretty much all behavioral issues.
To answer, I always start by distinguishing two importantly different questions:
1. How likely is it that I’ll be able to improve your situation? In other words, What are the chances that I’ll be able to help you create a happier, more balanced, calmer, more obedient (etc.) dog?
2. How likely is it that I’ll be able to make your dog’s problems disappear 100%? I.e., how much hope/faith should you put into the possibility that your dog will never again exhibit any degree of any of the problem behaviors you contacted me about?