Andrea Arden: Image by AndreaArden, FlickrAndrea Arden: Image by AndreaArden, Flickr

Any new dog owner might be wondering how to choose a dog trainer, and the training methods which might be best for their new pup. Here are some of the best ways to choose a good dog trainer.

Why Get A Dog Trainer

Dogs are very smart animals which are always learning, puppy or not. In most cases, if a puppy or dog isn't taught a set of rules, he'll create his own. Proper training will allow dog owners to safely and humanely teach their dog rules to control behavior. Positive training practices can also increase the bond between dog and owner. 

What To Look For In A Dog Trainer

The ideal dog trainer will use humane training techniques and positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Positive reinforcement might include treats, play, attention, or praise. The right trainer will avoid training methods which subject the dog to painful or negative punishments such as shock collars, tugging on the leash, or alpha rolling which can cause the dog distress. Instead, look for a trainer who withholds rewards when a dog doesn't behave appropriately, or ignores negative behavior until the dog begins to behave. Here are some things to look for in a skilled dog trainer:

  • Demonstrate the behavior being taught to the dog.
  • Assist the owner with every training technique.
  • Provide written instructions.
  • Give a clear explanation of every training exercise. 

Where To Find Dog Training

How To Choose A Dog Trainer: Image by AndreaArden, FlickrHow To Choose A Dog Trainer: Image by AndreaArden, Flickr

Wondering where to find a quality dog training service? There's always the possibility of searching for one online, but a good recommendation from a friend, neighbor, veterinarian, groomer, or a local humane society might be even better. Look online for dog trainers in your area and check the yellow pages.

Once you find a suitable dog trainer, it's important to check their qualifications. Check how many years of experience they have, what training methods they use, and how they were educated. Be sure to ask for references from other owners who've completed training. 

Conducting An Interview

No matter what training methods, references, and credentials a dog trainer has, it's a good idea to conduct an interview. There are good and bad dog trainers around the world. Elements as small as differences in personality can affect how well a trainer handles your dog. Some questions you may include in the interview are:

  • Where did you learn your training methods?
  • What are your certifications?
  • What is your dog training philosophy?
  • What was the last seminar or workshop you attended?

During the interview consider introducing the dog to the trainer, and gauge how well the trainer gets along with the dog. Also gauge how compatible the trainer's personality is with your own to prevent future problems or disagreements.

With these methods a dog owner can start the search for a good trainer for their pup. Be sure to choose a trainer who focuses on positive reinforcement, who won't hurt or abuse your furry companion.

Finding a dog trainer sources: Humane Society4 Paws UniversityPawsitive Training

Also Read: Tips For Choosing An In Home Pet Boarding Host