There are many dog training services to choose from. This is a 5 Point Checklist of what to ask and how to choose the right trainer for your dog. As you discover trainers, you are interested in finding out more about, ask these questions and request this information from them.
When we go with our dog to a training program we are both learning to communicate with each other. A trainer is part of our team for a short while and can be a beneficial part of our long term relationship building. We want to choose wisely and then we can set our sights on learning and growing together as a team.
Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 1
Training Approach: A positive approach to training is used by offering praise for wanted behaviors and not giving attention to (other than to redirect gently) to behaviors we do not want.
When there are ‘consequences’ such as tossing cold water in a dogs face for not following a command (to name one) the trainer is not using a positive reinforcement model. Otherwise the consequences of not following a command would be simply no praise.
Our dogs thrive on praise and want to please us. Communicate well and get remarkable praiseworthy results.
Choosing A Dog Trainer – Point 2
Socialization: Is the trainer approaching the curriculum with introduction and allowing your dog to become familiar with surroundings, equipment, and people as part of the training routine? Will the puppy be given time to become familiar with any new people or new skill communication?
Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 3
Vaccinations: Has the trainer required all of the pets he/she works with to be vaccinated? This is especially important if you travel to your trainer’s facility where other pets have been. This is an important question to ask regardless of the training location. Protecting your pet’s health is an important matter.
We recommend a puppy is not taken to areas such as dog parks or pet stores (concentrated dog areas) to limit the opportunities to be exposed to health and behavior problems until the puppy has had time to build a strong immune system and is fully vaccinated.
5 Point Checklist Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 4
Credentials & References: What training has the trainer had? Ask about school, diploma, awards, and so on. In addition to attending/completing a school for dog trainers, has the trainer participated in other related activities such as apprenticeships, assisting other trainers, volunteering, associations, ongoing credit hours, etc. A trainer who loves what they do will have this information readily available upon request or on their website.
What are people saying about the trainer? Has the training been beneficial for their pet? Is there a community page you can visit (such as on Facebook for example) where people can discuss the service, provide a rating, and openly communicate with other clients.
5 Point Checklist Choosing A Dog Trainer — Point 5
Comfort and Communication: The main issues aside (skills, safety, reputation) the next and most important of all is a question to ask yourself. Do you and your pet like the trainer? If you or your pet have concerns, are experiencing any undue stress, or do not feel you are able to communicate with the trainer, it is ok to look for someone else. It is a bit like having a great doctor. He will do well to have a patient bedside manner in addition to his qualifications in his expertise.
We have a new Puppy Training Guide on Wisteria Goldens. It is a reference list of our new and popular blog posts and information pages. We have created one page for you to find the most effective way to raise your puppy and keep your dog healthy and happy.