5 tips to selecting the right dog trainer...
Having a pooch for a friend is a wonderful experience, but for best results, Rover will need some training. A well – mannered dog can truly be part of the family, and be welcomed almost everywhere, while an untrained one may be a joy to you, but avoided by everyone else. Choosing a good dog trainer can make the difference between a peaceful pup or a catastrophic canine. Here are five tips for choosing the right trainer.
1. Get references from pet owners who have previously used the dog trainer you are considering. If he or she is reputable, references won't be a problem. Ask the previous dog owners some specific questions about how this trainer deals with dogs. A dog trainer must have authority over the animal, but shouldn't gain it by physical force or loud yelling. Dogs that can't be trained by quieter, more controlled methods might need a special pinching collar. Ask the previous clients about yelling and brute force.
2. Choose a group class whenever possible. A novice dog trainer might not think of this, but there is one great advantage to training your dog in a class. That advantage is that your dog will be forced to learn how to behave around other dogs. A well behaved dog around people can lose it when it gets around other dogs!
There are other advantages to training in a group. One is that you are the one who has to walk the dog through it's exercises. If the training is all done by the professional dog trainer, the dog might behave well for them, but not for you. Working through the lessons with your dog gives you a chance to communicate and bond with your dog, too.
3. Check out the dog trainer's qualifications. Being certified or trained won't necessarily ensure a good dog trainer, but it can't hurt. A good dog trainer will know about the health and psychology of dogs. She will know how to read a dog's behavior in order to figure out the best way to convince the dog to do what is being asked of it.
4. Find out about the dog trainer's experience. Has he had experience with your breed of dog? Dog behavior and training varies according to breed, and it makes sense to choose a trainer who has a lot of experience with the kind of dog you have. Training methods for guard dogs, for instance, differ widely from training techniques for small indoor pets.
5. Sit in on a class and observe the trainer in action. Do they require the dogs to be in choke collars, or are the dogs trained in a more gentle method, using plain, flat collars or harnesses? Get a feel for this trainer's personality with both people and dogs. Is this someone you can work with effectively?
Taking the time to choose the right dog trainer can make a big difference in your dog. Pooch needs a good education, too, right? Choose that teacher for your pup carefully.