How do I make sure that I’m getting “The Right Dog Trainer?”
I’ll bet I have been asked this question at least a thousand times over the past few years. The recent rise in TV based dog training shows has spurred many discussions and even a few heated arguments on this subject.
The main thing to remember when beginning your search for the right trainer is to remember that every dog is different and that every training situation is different. Subscribing to one type or one specific method of training doesn’t allow for this. Not being flexible is not only dangerous, it’s completely irresponsible!
The best trainer for you is a trainer who continually takes in all of the information he or she can from as many sources as possible. Doing this gives the trainer a wider variety of knowledge and more possible options to consider when he/she is presented with a given behavior issue or situation. Having a open mind when it comes to any and all training methods will allow the trainer to determine which method or combination of methods will be the best for you and your dog.
No matter which trainer you choose, you must take the time to investigate the methods that that trainer might choose to employee when training your dog. Don’t follow them blindly or think “Oh their professionals, they must know what they are doing.” This is irresponsible too! You must completely agree with their methods and if you have any questions, the trainer should be more than happy to take the time to answer your questions and satisfy your concerns.
You must always remember to do only what is best for your dog. In the end, if your dog doesn’t trust or respect you and your trainer, your dog will never respond well to the training.
You and your dog must also “like” the trainer. Like humans, dogs don’t always like everyone they met. Before any training begins, you and your dog must be comfortable with the trainer. This means that a relationship must exist. And not only between you and the trainer, but your dog and trainer also. If a trainer doesn’t take the time to “get to know” your dog before he begins, he is the wrong trainer for you.
Lastly, when choosing a trainer, make sure he/she uses methods that support physical health and mental balance in your dog. Trainers who prefer to use shortcuts that can physically or mentally harm your dog should never be allowed access to your beloved family member.