Choosing a Dog Trainer There are many ways to choose a dog trainer. You can read a book or watch a video to teach you how to train your dog; you can have a friend who is good at training dogs commit to training yours; or you can hire someone to train your dog. You will be surprised at how many different methods and trainers are available.
Educate Yourself It’s important you educate yourself when looking for someone to train your dog. See if there are trainers who offer competitive prices or even a guarantee. Ask for references and contact those people to see if they were happy with their experiences. Consider that shopping for a dog trainer is nothing like shopping for a car or an appliance. Trainers are professionals and have a code of ethics that need to be followed. Interestingly, trainers who adhere to the code of ethics are forbidden to guarantee results from their training. Think about it. Nobody can guarantee the actions of any living thing. Your pet is unique and has different history, strengths, and weaknesses than any other pet.
Your Search Anybody can claim status as a trainer. Keep in mind, most schools are not likely to imply their trainers know everything. Additionally, there are private programs for trainers offered by well-known trainers that are based on modern methods with scientific approval. Lastly, there are online courses that can be taken seriously and will actually teach you about training your dog or how to choose an appropriate dog trainer.
Preferred Training Methods Make sure you understand what methods your trainer will use while training your dog. Be sure to find a trainer who uses a lure-and-reward program, clicker training, or a combination of the two. According to scientists who have studied training methods for years, coercion and pain are inefficient and are counterproductive as training methods. Be sure your trainer is using encouragement and rewards when working with your dog. There should never be a time when a trainer uses choke collars, shock collars, alpha rolls, prong collars, or scruff shakes.
In the end, most likely a huge piece to the puzzle of your choosing a trainer will have something to do with the cost. There is no good advice to offer on how much you should pay for a two-month class; it varies depending on where you live. Smaller classes are better, so in the end, choose a dog trainer who can offer the smallest class with the highest quality that you can afford.
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