Dog training delivers an array of benefits for both you and your dog. From teaching your dog obedience to advanced training for sports, the right dog trainer can make such a difference. This is especially true if you are a new or first-time dog owner. Even if you have years of experience with dogs, a professional trainer can hone your abilities and troubleshoot problems – after all, every dog has his or her own personality and quirks!
Group dog training and obedience classes have the wonderful benefits of socializing your dog. It is, therefore, important to ensure you find the right trainer for your dog.
Puppy training is not a regulated industry. Anyone can print business cards and charge for their training services, regardless of their education, background, or experience. It is therefore important to evaluate potential dog trainers before you trust them with your money and your precious pet. Don’t simply choose the closest puppy training school – you need to do your research to understand whether a potential trainer is right for you and your dog.
What to look for in a trainer
- It is important to start by asking the trainer about their training philosophy and methods. You need to ensure that you are comfortable with this approach.
- Make sure you find a trainer who utilizes positive reinforcement training – rewarding your dog for positive behaviour and teaching alternative behaviours to replace the inappropriate ones. Such techniques are based on animal learning science and have the bonus of making the bond between dog and human stronger.
Know your goals
Dog training is done for a variety of reasons. It is important to define what you need and expect from the trainer. Do you need to deal with the behaviour of a dog jumping on guests? Does your dog need to learn to sit? Do you have an extremely timid dog – or an aggressive or hyperactive dog? Are you looking for basic puppy training?
It is important to learn whether the trainer you are considering provides classes that meet your needs. Not all dog trainers offer the same services. A group class environment with other dogs will provide the added benefit of distraction and socialization training. However, sometimes your dog will learn best when taught one-on-one, especially if the other dogs overstimulate your dog.
Where do you want your dog to be trained?
When choosing a dog trainer, you need to know where you want this to take place for your convenience. Private training can be done at home or anywhere else. Some dogs are not ready for a classroom. However, not all dog trainers offer services outside their facility and you can expect to pay more money for a trainer to come to your home for private sessions.
Ask the right questions
When choosing a dog trainer, it is important to ask the right questions about the trainer’s education and credentials. Some good trainers have gone to school and have years of experience. While certification is not mandatory for a trainer, it shows dedication to their profession.
The personality of the trainer
If you want to choose the right local dog training professional, it is important to talk to the trainer and know their personality. Are you on the same page? Apart from the trainer’s relationship with your dog, you also need someone who is friendly and with whom you can build a rapport.
A well-trained dog is a happy dog – so what are you waiting for?
Written by WHIA Lifestyle Staff Writer Kate Vosburgh