Tips on Hiring a Great Professional Dog Trainer

Hiring a professional dog trainer can be a tricky process because all dogs are not the same and use different training methods. This article will help show you how to select a trainer that can help you get the most out of your pet.

1. Knowing what to look for in a dog trainer.  Most dog owners simply want a well-behaved pet and they are not looking to compete with their dog or at least not in the beginning.  However if you’re looking to do obedience competition you need to find a trainer that has that type of experience, most dog trainers don’t.

Just a couple of extra pointers that may save you some misery down the line.  Does your dog trainer have a business license?  Does your dog trainer have liability insurance?  Is your dog trainer listed in the phone book?  I believe all legitimate businesses have these things, don’t you?   “Note below, no treat or clicker”.

2. Dog trainer qualifications.  While talking about qualifications experience is very important when hiring a dog trainer.  Just like anything else the longer you do it and the more dogs that you’re involved with the better you get at dog training.  If you’re simply looking for obedience training the pool for trainers is much larger than for example if you’re looking for a trainer who can help you with something like aggression problems.  Make sure you find a trainer that has experience with the issues that you’re concerned with.

3. What methods does this trainer use?  This is a big one.  For example do you want a trainer who uses treats or does clicker training?  Probably not, most of my clients want somebody who can teach them how to train their dog out of mutual trust and respect rather than using a bribing type method.  I mean let’s get real who wants to carry around treats or a clicker in your pocket for the rest of your life?

4. Which type of training is best, group classes or private lessons?  That’s a simple answer.  Private in home lessons are definitely the best way to train your dog and I’ll tell you why.  In a group class there may be 10 to 15 people and their dogs in the class.  Your dog is so interested in all the other dogs and people who it’s really hard for you to get its attention.  You’re so busy taking care of your dog and keeping it away from the other dogs that you’re not even having time to listen to the instructor.  Plus in a group class the instructor is teaching very generic exercises some of which you may be interested in and others that you’re not.

In private lessons the instructor is working with you and your dog in your home and that’s where you want your dog to behave the best.  He’s also working on exercises that are important to you and your family’s lifestyle.  Hands down private in-home training is the best way to go.

5. What expectations you should have?  With any basic obedience class whether a group or private lessons at a minimum your dog should be able to walk on a loose leash, sit and down on command, sit stay and down stay as well as come when called.

If you know what to look for in a dog trainer it should help you decide who to choose.  Apply the helpful advice from this article and soon you’ll be on your way to having a dog trainer that is the right match for your pet.

Mark Mansfield
 

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