Finding the Right Trainer
So, you just adopted your new fur-ever friend! You picked out the
crate, bed, food and water bowls, doggie toys, dog food, and
everything else marketed for dogs.
But are you forgetting the most important investment for you and your dog’s happiness? I am talking about a dog trainer. Even if you have experience training your dogs, a good dog trainer can help you hone your training skills.
If you have no experience with training or trainers, a good trainer will make all the difference for you and your dog’s patience and happiness. How can you find the right trainer?
Know going into this process that Dog Training is unregulated. Anyone can print business cards and charge top dollar claiming to be a trainer regardless of education or experience. You must do your research. Ask about education and credentials. Some learn through apprenticeships and experience, and some pursue the more academic route building skills.
Two of the more respected credentials are The Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers and The Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Check out these organizations for information and references for trainers in your area. Ask what methods and training philosophy your prospective trainer uses, and you are comfortable with his or her approach.
Know what you need from your trainer.
- Is the dog urinating and defecating in the
- Is he jumping up on guests?
- Do you need the dog to sit and stay?
- All the above?
Speak with the trainer to get a feel for his personality and people skills. After all, Dog Trainers teach people as much as they train the dogs.
- Do they use positive reinforcement with the dogs, rewarding appropriate behaviors, and teach appropriate behaviors instead of inappropriate ones?
- What kind of class are you looking for, private classes or group classes?
Group classes offer the chance for your dog to interact with other dogs, providing social interaction, and distraction training. These classes are usually less expensive than private classes.
Watch a class to make sure the dogs and their owners are having a great experience.
Private classes are usually more expensive. Some training is at the trainer’s school, some training could be at the dog’s home, and some will be out in public at a park or a large store, for example.
Private lessons are perfect for some dogs as they are not ready for group work. The stress of working in a group may inhibit the ability of your dog to learn in this environment.
However, be aware of the trainer must come to you, you may pay more.
A good trainer will help you understand your dog’s perceptions so
better to meet the dog’s needs. You will get a better understanding of dog behavior, communication, how dogs learn, socialization, especially for puppies, and grooming would be a nice perk.
A good trainer will teach both you and your dog.
What better way to start a life together than to develop and grow with your dog?
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL VETERINARIAN OR ASPCA FOR A LIST OF TRUSTWORTHY AND QUALITY PET TRAINERS