How to Choose the Right Dog Trainer

by Carter Toni

Obedience training is an important element of caring for your dog and nurturing your relationship with them. This is especially important if you’re a new dog owner or if you need to teach them important commands. In some cases, you may also need a trainer because your dog has developed a series of bad habits. Whatever the case, if you need help finding the right trainer, the tips below can help.

Consider What You Want Your Dog to Learn

According to renowned dog expert Cesar Millan, it’s important to determine what you want your dog to learn before you set about finding a trainer. For example, if your dog has a lot of behavioral issues, you’ll want to find someone who can address the underlying causes. On the other hand, if your dog is already well behaved and you just want to teach them a few obedience commands such as ‘sit’ or ‘stay’, then you’ll want to find a trainer who can help you with that. However, the first step is to assess your dog and figure out what they need the most.

Keep Your Ethics in Mind

Another tip from Cesar is that you should always think about your ethics and values. For example, you might oppose certain tools or exercises, and this is worth bearing in mind before you seek a trainer. This includes the use of particular dog collars or chains or specific methods of training. Once you know what your preferences and values are, you can find a trainer that matches those.

Look for Referrals

Another good way to find a trainer is to look for referrals. Whether it’s a vet from Pet Nest Animal Hospital or a friend, relative, or colleague, referrals can be an efficient way of knowing what you’re getting into ahead of time. Not only does it mean you can get a sense of what type of trainer they are, but you can also ask questions about their methods, tools, and so on before you speak with them.

Check Their Qualifications

Checking a trainer’s qualification is also important. After all, you want your pet to be in safe hands! While someone can be a brilliant self-taught trainer, certifications at least ensure that the person has had to study, go through training programs and that they have had experience working one-on-one with dogs. Another benefit of certification is that it makes them accountable to certain standards and regulations.

Ensure You’re Included During Training

While it might be tempting to simply drop your dog off and let the trainer do all the work, you’ll actually fare better if you are part of the process. Therefore, it’s important to find trainers that include you during training so that you both learn how to work well together. A trainer that claims to ‘fix dogs’ or work ‘miracle cures’ without your input is one you should avoid. The best type of training involves the owner and includes methods and tools that can be customized to meet the owner’s and dog’s needs.

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