You and your dog are best friends. What goes into selecting a trainer for your best friend?
Keep a few things in mind when selecting a trainer. Not all dog trainers are the same nor have the same approach. There are different kids of dog training (see my article Forms of Dog Training that discusses types of trainers). What are your goals and highest priorities; these definitely need to be conveyed to a prospective trainer during your interview of options.
- Does your dog like the trainer? Meaning, does the trainer do things (or ask you to do things) that seem to cause your dog to be skittish or nervous (examples are getting on the floor and growling at your dog, throwing cans of coins or other noise makers at your dog, using spray bottles to distract or punish the dog). These are warning signs.
- Experience: Ask specifically how much experience the trainer has in true training, not handling, of dogs. Experience on the training field counts BIG!
- Check any available reviews. Look at the success of other clients. If there are unedited videos of a trainer’s clients, watch those carefully.
- Philosophy of the Trainer: Does a prospective trainer’s philosophy mesh with what you think is appropriate for your dog? Is the trainer willing, and skilled enough, to be able to change his approach?
- Are you included in the training? Honestly, this is a big deal. The bond between you and your dog will thrive when you are the main training partner. Board and Train opportunities are undesirable exactly for this reason (as well as many others. See my discussion on Board and Trains).
When interviewing prospective trainers, have a list of your expectations to discuss. I am happy to address any of your concerns about training philosophy and training options. Call me at 936-449-1665 or fill out our contact form. I’ll get back with you as soon as possible.