• August 30th, 2022
    Written by: Kimberly

    Working with an experienced dog trainer can be beneficial for dogs of any age. For new puppies and rescue dogs, basic obedience will help your dog be better behaved at home. An already trained dog can expand upon her skills while getting mental stimulation with advanced training. For dogs who are exhibiting aggression or other behavioral issues, a professional trainer can be a must for everyone's safety. 

    Picking the right trainer for your dog requires some consideration. Since there is little regulation in the field and almost anyone can say they are a dog trainer, you will want to know what to look for in order to separate the professionals from the unexperienced and make sure that you will get the best results for your dog.

    How to Choose a Dog Trainer 

    As you start your search for a dog trainer, the internet is a great place to look, but you will want to be extra careful and check for all of the following for any trainers you find online to be sure they are legitimate. You can also ask friends with dogs or see if your rescue, vet, or people you meet at the dog park have any recommendations.

    For any dog trainers that you are choosing between, you should look into all of the following:

    • Education and Mentorship - There are different paths a person can take to become a dog trainer. Several organizations will offer a single online class before certifying their trainers. Other trainers may not have a formal class, but have mentored for an extended period under other well known dog trainers. In general, the more education your trainer has, the better he or she will be to understand your dog's needs.
    • Experience - A trainer who is experienced in working with dogs will have first hand practice in applying training techniques, which generally makes them more effective as a trainer. They will also be better able to spot problems and make the appropriate modifications for your dog.
    • Training Strategies - There are multiple different strategies for dog training. Some trainers will use E-collars. Others offer board and train. As long as the method is based on positive reinforcement training. The right methodology will depend largely on your own needs, but you will want to use a trainer who relies on positive reinforcement as their main training tool.
    • Reputation - Checking reviews and asking friends and family who have had experience with a trainer is a great way to validate any claims. You should also be able to ask the trainer for references from past clients, particularly if they are newer and do not yet have extensive reviews.

    The final requirement is that you like the way the trainer communicates. A large part of dog training is actually giving you the skills to better understand and manage your dog so, you want a trainer that you feel comfortable communicating with from the beginning and who adequately explains their approach, reasoning, and how they will meet your goals with dog training.

    One thing to keep in mind when looking for a dog trainer is that you should often not let price be a determining factor. Given all of these considerations, a qualified and successful dog trainer will often not be cheap and shopping around on budget may mean you do not get the results you are after. You should make these considerations your primary ones and then start looking into cost when you believe you have a trainer that will provide everything you and your dog need.