My Canine Academy group has in interesting thread going about "What is a good trainer?"
I loved this response comparing dogs to kids. Wouldn't you love to have her as your child's teacher!?
"....This is a fascinating discussion, because the same question Adminses in my work as a teacher of struggling students. Parents--and educators--try to fit kids into a "box" that we label "good kid" A "good kid" gets decent grades, has excellent motivation and study habits, follows the rules, has good social relationships, and participates successfully with others in sports, dance, etc... If for some reason the kid doesn't fit this box, parents (and teachers) either think they are failing in some way, or that there is something that needs to be "fixed" in their kid. There can be a lot of frustration and angst on all sides.
After many years, I've come to the conclusion that each child is a unique and wonderful individual. They won't necessarily fit in our "box". What we do is stretch and adjust the box, and give them some tools to fit in it in order to function successfully in society. But we acknowledge and celebrate their unique qualities--they are not disabled, just different!
I think its' the same with dogs--they have to learn some basic skills to live successfully with humans, but they don't necessarily have to fit in our "good dog" box. Maybe they don't like being around other dogs--ok accept that. Maybe they have too much of the "explorer" in them to be trusted off leash (my guy)--ok long lines!
I think acknowledging the unique qualities of the individual, accepting them, and working with them on their own terms is the mark of a good teacher... and a good trainer..."