You may be looking to hire a dog trainer for a number of reasons... maybe you're wanting to fine tune what you've already taught your dog, maybe you want to start your puppy off with a solid foundation, or maybe even help your dog overcome his fear of strangers.
About The Dog Training Industry:
Dog training is an unregulated industry. Yup, you read that right... unregulated! This means that anyone you know can pay for a business card and start charging for their services regardless of their background, education, or experience. Mind blowing right?!? In this post I'm going to share some of the key things you should look for when interviewing potential trainers.
1. Ask about their experience with dogs similar to yours and ask for references.
2. Observe a group class or training session to get a feel for how they train. Be sure they're using methods that you are comfortable with.
3. Avoid cookie cutter trainers! These are trainers that take the same exact approach with every dog(i.e. every single dog gets an e-collar or pinch collar). Every dog should have a training plan that is tailored to the owner’s and dog’s specific needs!
4. Ask where they learned to train dogs and if they have any certifications. There are some good trainers out there that have learned from working under someone and some trainers that have taken the more academic approach by going to a dog trainer school. In my opinion a great trainer will always continue to learn and further their education in dog training. Seminars, training courses, and workshops are always available in this profession!
5. Find out what their training philosophy is and if it's something you agree with. Do they use corrections? And if so, how? Do they reward dogs? What do they reward them with?
Following these 5 tips can help ensure you are finding a good trainer for you and your dog!