Finding the right dog trainer is not without challenges. Whether you are training your dog advanced training, dog sports, or basic obedience, having the right trainer at your disposal is imperative. A trainer can help you every step of the way while troubleshooting any potential problems that you might encounter. You can even enroll in a group class being run by a dog trainer as a way to socialize your dog.
Dog training in the United States is an unregulated industry. Anybody can call themselves a dog trainer and offer training services. You’ll need to take the time to evaluate potential trainers to decide if they really have the experience and know-how to tackle canine training.
You’ll want to use word of mouth and the internet for research when looking for a qualified dog trainer. Reach out to local dog groups, shelters, and your dog-owning friends to see if they have any local recommendations for a qualified trainer.
What to Look for in a Dog Trainer
Take the time to ask the trainer about his training philosophy and the methods used. You want to make sure you are both on the same page when it comes to a training approach. Ideally, any trainer you pick should use positive reinforcement training to let the dog learn what is appropriate behavior.
Examining What Do You Need from the Dog Trainer?
Be honest about what you need from the dog trainer. Is your pooch a problem child? Does the canine regularly jump on people, chew up items, or show aggression? If so, the trainer has to know and be ready to meet the challenges of training to overcome the situation. However, if you are simply looking for a trainer to teach basic obedience such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ then you might not have any substantial problems locating a qualified trainer.
Private or Group Dog Classes
Not all dog trainers offer private classes. Some only teach in a group setting. You’ll want to decide in which training arena your dog will flourish. Do you need private lessons, or can Fido perform well in a group training class?
Private training usually costs substantially more than group training courses. Young dogs often benefit from the socialization of a group class and an older dog might thrive in a private training session where they receive one-on-one attention.
What to Ask a Dog Trainer
If you have found a couple of promising dog trainers then you will want to meet with them for a short interview. Ask each trainer about their education and credentials. Some trainers have served apprenticeships and have years of experience. A few trainers might hold certifications from organizations which show their dedication to the profession.
Speaking with the trainer will give you a feel for their personality and skills. You want to know that the trainer’s philosophy fits your own unique beliefs on how a dog should be trained. Ask to observe a training class or two so you can watch how the instructor interacts with the dogs and students.
Choosing the right dog trainer is not a decision to be made lightly. You’ll want to put a lot of thought into the process because you want your dog to look forward to obedience school just as much as you do. Training your dog is an ideal bonding experience that should always be positive and rewarding.