How to Select a Dog Trainer

Find the right person to help you train your best friend.

It’s not hard to get hold of information on how to train your dog, but it can be difficult to find advice on how to select a dog trainer. The person you choose will have a big impact on the relationship you will have with your dog, so you need to find someone who will treat your dog with the same amount of respect that you do.

There are many ways in which you can train your dog. Some techniques use correction and punishment when your dog does the wrong thing. Other training methods use rewards and praise when your dog gets it right. It’s not difficult to see that reward based training not only gives your dog more information about what is expected of him, but also makes training fun. He will look forward to his training sessions and be more willing to please you.

Here are some suggestions on how to select a dog trainer.

  • Ask for referrals. Your veterinarian can often recommend a dog trainer in your area. Similarly, your family, friends and neighbors may have trained their dogs and can give you the name of their trainer. Make sure that you let them know that you are looking for someone who uses positive dog training methods.
  • When you have the names of some trainers, phone each one of them and ask them about their background, dog training methods and experience. Find out how they handle dogs that are a little more difficult to train. You are looking for someone who not only loves working with dogs, but is knowledgeable and able to adapt their dog training techniques to meet the needs of individual animals.
  • If possible, visit one of their training classes and watch them in action. They should never become angry at a dog in their class, and certainly should never handle them roughly. A good dog trainer is calm and consistent when teaching a dog and his handler. Both dogs and owners should be relaxed, and look like they are enjoying the class.
  • The final step in selecting a dog trainer is to take you dog into one of their classes. Keep in mind that you are ultimately in charge of training your dog; the trainer is only there to guide and support you. Feel free to ask for more information about what they are asking you to do. If you are not comfortable at any time, ask them if there is an alternative way to teach your dog that particular behavior.

It may take you a little while to find the right person to help you train your dog. With the help of a good dog trainer, your dog will learn to behave nicely, and you’ll develop a close connection with your four legged family member. The time it takes you to work out how to select a dog trainer is time very well spent.


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