If you are about to get a dog or have recently acquired a puppy or rescue dog, seeking out a professional dog trainer is crucial to you and your dog’s happiness. Do not put this off! Ideally, you want to find a trainer before you even get your dog. Any way you look at it, having a well trained dog early on in your time together will improve the quality of life for everyone.
But just how do you find a good dog trainer? Here are some tips.
One of the best ways to find a good dog trainer is to ask people in your area. Here is a short list of places you can start:
- Other dog owners such as friends and family
- Dog groomers
- Rescue organizations
People who are “in the industry” tend to know each other in the local area. Some of those people earn a positive reputation and others not so much. Some of the best trainers, however, are trainers that work independently. You’ll want to make sure they are licensed, insured, and have proper qualifications, but often times, getting local recommendations is as far as you need to go.
Decide What Type Of Training You Want
There are many different types of professional dog trainers and they all have their own methods, but there are two very basic things you should look for. How much praise do they use and how much punishment do they use? Most trainers will use some mix of the two. Some form of punishment is usually needed to show a dog what not to do. However, this punishment doesn’t have to be severe or painful. It can be as simple as denying a dog a tasty treat.
For example, are you ok with using choke chains or prong collars? What about shock collars? There is no right or wrong answer here. Just know what you’re comfortable with. Keep an open mind, too. Most trainers do know what they are doing. But if a trainer makes you uncomfortable, there is no shame in finding another one. Professional dog trainers are everywhere.
Obedience Training Solves Most Other Problems
Let’s pretend for a moment that your dog is aggressive around food. You are concerned about this so you take your dog to a professional dog behavior training specialist. Your first lesson may be spent on some very basic commands like sit, lie down, or leave it. Your next lesson might be spent on properly walking the dog on leash. And the lesson after that could be about something else. You may start to wonder, “what does all of this have to do with food aggression?” Often times, these other behaviors go hand-in-hand (or should we say paw-in-paw) with an issue you might be concerned about. It’s all connected in some way. Usually, training needs to be done in steps. So just relax, have fun, and if you have any concerns ask your trainer. Proper communication is key.
Just remember, if you’re not having fun while training your dog, whether you are by yourself or with a professional dog trainer, something is wrong. Owning a dog should be fun and training your dog should be too!
Bill Rogan a deep passion for dogs. He spends his weekends writing articles on the topic of Dog Behavior Training. He also writes dog food reviews on www.dogfoodinsider.com