Choosing a Pet Obedience Dog Trainer
by Crystal C.
One of the biggest issues that dog owners face is choosing a dog trainer. Dog trainers can be easy to find, but finding a good one can be challenging. This is because there is no true certification for dog trainers and anyone can claim to be one. There are several things that you can look for ensure that the dog trainer you choose is exactly what you want.
Make sure that you do your research when you are trying to choose a good trainer. Interview several trainers about their backgrounds and find out what they like to do when training dogs. If you prefer trainers who use positive reinforcements, then seek out those who have experience in that area. A trainer who is experienced in obedience competition training will train a dog very differently from one who has more experience in training guard dogs.
If it is at all possible, then observe the trainer you are interested in working with. You can attend classes that they are teaching to see them at work. It is also a good idea for you to interview the trainer’s past and current clients. This will help you to form a clearer picture of what the trainer can do. If the trainer that you are interested in will not allow you to interview their clients, then consider that a red flag that this trainer quite possibly has something to hide.
While observing the trainer in action, watch how he interacts with the dogs and the owners. A trainer should teach the owner as well as the dog. This way the dog understands what is expected and the owner understands how to get the desired behavior and can more easily understand her dog. Owners and dogs should obviously be happy to see the trainer and to participate in the class. Watch to see if the trainer is rough, aggressive, impatient, or demonstrates any other behavior that may make you hesitate to use the services.
Pay attention the equipment that the trainer uses while working with the dogs. If you prefer to use positive reinforcement and the trainer is using choke or pinch collars, then this may be a trainer to skip. Instead, look for trainers who use halter-type collars, flat collars, or buckle collars because these are gentle choices that work well with the majority of dogs. This usually means the trainer uses positive techniques for training rather than resorting to negative ones.
Do not settle for trainers who say they will solve a particular behavior problem. Most good trainers are able to help owners modify behaviors, but it is up to the owner to follow up with training. Look for a trainer who will make you promise to have an active role in follow up training.
Price is not always the best indicator of a good trainer. Some instructors charge a great deal but are not effective trainers, meaning you will have to spend more money to receive the desired results. Other trainers are less expensive but provide quality training and are not needed after a few lessons. While money is a factor, never let price decide what trainer you choose.
The biggest factor when choosing a dog trainer is your instinct. If your gut reaction to a trainer is to cringe, then something is very wrong. If your gut tells you that something is not quite right, it isn’t, and you should keep looking. The same rule applies with a trainer who seems to just “click” with you and your dog.
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