So you’ve planned your new addition down to the letter. You’ve chosen your breed, breeder, sex and age of your puppy and being a planner, you know that your pup will need training. So how do you filter through all of the trainers out there to find the right one for you? We’d like to help you find the perfect match for you and your new puppy. A few important things to consider when finding a dog trainer:
1 – Credentials – Did you know that there is no governing body for dog trainers? That means anyone can call themselves a dog trainer and start up a training business. Therefore it’s important that you look at how long they’ve been in business and where they learned to train. Personal recommendations from family, neighbours and friends can help you find someone who has been in the business long enough to have learned how to conduct themselves both as a business professional and a dog trainer.
2 – Methods – There are many, many methods that can be used to train a dog. You won’t be happy if your idea of the correct philosophy is not in line with your trainer. Be sure to talk to them about the methods they use. Are they purely positive? Do they use a lot of negative? Are they somewhere in between using a balanced approach? It’s important that you and your dog trainer are on the same page so you can move forward and teach your dog in a way you are comfortable with.
3 – Experience – This is key. As we’ve mentioned, anyone can start up a dog training business overnight. They don’t actually need to know anything about dogs or training. A dog trainer who has experience and especially can read a dog is of utmost importance. Choose a trainer who has the most active experience in helping dogs and owners learn. You will need to know how they are training the dog so that you can continue with the lessons in their absence. Therefore, it’s important that they not only know how to train dogs, but also people!
4 – Results – You should have a good idea of what kind of results you want to see. Are you happy with a dog that comes when called and doesn’t pull? Are you looking to go further and compete in agility or obedience with your dog? Choose a trainer that has helped train others with the same goals. Also, look at their dogs and the results they’ve achieved. Do their own dogs listen well? Are they happy workers? How a trainer’s dog acts is a big window into the results they can achieve and the experience they have amassed. Use this as the most important recommendation.
Whatever dog trainer you choose, be sure to be ready to discuss anything you aren’t comfortable with or that isn’t producing results. Good trainers are fluid and should be able to provide you with solutions based on different ideas should you require troubleshooting or thinking outside of the box.
Best of luck and Happy Training!