You love your dog and you have decided that you need a little professional help with training. Don’t worry all relationships need some support at one point or another. But with all the recommendations from family, friends and your local dog community, how do you find the RIGHT dog trainer? Who knows what they are talking about or will use methods that are safe and effective? How do you know who to trust with your dog? In this article with the help of 360 dog walker, I am going to go over some tips to help you find a qualified trainer for your dog training needs.
Finding the Perfect Dog Trainer
Choosing the right trainer is one of the most important decisions you can make for your dog. Unfortunately, the world of dog training is unregulated which means that anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. This means that there are many people out there offering outdated and dangerous advice that hurts dogs and their owners. After searching the internet for dog trainer’s websites and Facebook pages you can begin to narrow down your search and make a list of who you want to contact an interview.
Questions To Ask Dog Trainers
The first question you want to ask is what methods they use. You want to select a trainer who uses positive reinforcement methods. These methods are effective humane and fun for the whole family. Positive reinforcement works by rewarding the dog for what they do right. Through positive reinforcement, dogs can easily and happily acquire everything from basic manners to obedience, conformation in dog sledding to mastering agility.
You ask a trainer about his or her training methods listen carefully to their answer. Some trainers have begun calling themselves positive or balanced trainers instead of using outdated correction-based methods since positive reinforcement training has become more popular. To dive deeper to see exactly how a trainer works ask for details on how they would teach a basic behavior like sit.
Ask your perspective trainer how he or she would deal with problems, like a dog not listening, a dog misbehaving in class or a dog who displays aggression. Avoid trainers who use terminology like pack leader, describe a dog as being dominant use alpha roles, or use any physical punishment through sound shock, or physical corrections via hand or leash.
You want a trainer who can strategically use management and positive reinforcement training techniques to teach behaviors and solve all problems humanely without the use of pain, intimidation or fear.
In addition to methods used you also want to look at the length of time the trainer has been in the industry. Simply working in the industry for thirty years does not determine his or her ability but it is a gauge that should contribute to your decision. Beyond just time on the job you want to see professional certifications or associations. There are many ways for trainers to become educated dog trainers through independent study or through schools like the academy for dog trainers Karen Pryor Academy and Victoria Stilwell Academy.
There are also independent certifying bodies like the certification council for professional dog trainers whose members have to pass a vigorous test, proving their knowledge on topics like learning theory, instructions skill, animal husbandry, equipment and ethology.
You will also want to know how they will handle your dog and what pieces equipment they will put on your dog. You want to work with a trainer who uses equipment designed for your dog safety and comfort.
You want to avoid tools that were designed to stop behavior through discomfort or pain as these tools and the training methods go along with them can have unintentional side effects like increasing aggression, increasing stress and decreasing the human and animal bond.
To Sum It Up
Taking the time to research trainers and finding a good fit for you and your dog is important. I hope this helps you find a certified professional to assist with your dog.