Finding a dog trainer in your area – Part 2

Having a dog with even basic training is a joy – they don’t pull at the leash, they’re quiet when asked, come when called, and don’t jump on you, the furniture or the counter.

Believe it or not, you can train your dog to do (or not do) all of those things, but if you don’t have the time, or if you feel you don’t have the patience or the talent, you may want to consult a dog trainer.

Credentials vs Experience

There are numerous courses for dog trainers from 90% correspondence to 90% hands-on “classroom” work. Having looked in to many of these options for myself, and having worked in a kennel with an experienced trainer, I would vote for hands-on and experience every time. A sound theoretical background is great, but nothing beats working with a wide variety of dogs, especially if they are dogs similar to yours in breed and temperament.

Having said that, there are also a number of seminars on a wide variety of subjects, and having these types of certificates shows that a trainer is never too old to learn new tricks.

Which Credentials

When you find a trainer that you think may fit the bill for you and your dog, and they do have credentials as well as experience, checkout the curriculum for the program(s) they attended. Does the program offer work with an experience trainer? What types of programs does the establishment offer? Do is look like they spend more money on advertising or on training?

(Having inquired about several training programs, it soon became apparent that some institutions spent A LOT of money on advertising and recruitment.)

Training the Dog vs Training the Owner

You can take your dog to a training kennel, leave them for two or three weeks and have perfectly trained dog. But what happens when you get them home, pull out the leash and say “let’s go for a walk” and your dog just sits and looks at you – or worse yet, sits SHIVERING, and looking at you with fear?

If you have a particularly difficult problem and are very confident in a particular trainer, leaving your dog for a week or two may be the best option.

However, if the problem is how you and your dog are interacting, you need to be trained as much, if not more, than your dog. So you should be a part of every training session – you need to learn how to get your dog to do what needs to be done and your dog needs to learn that YOU are in charge, not a trainer.

Which Training Method(s)

There are as many methods of training as there are trainers – and most have

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