How to Choose a Dog Trainer
Dogs are extremely social creatures and need both mental and physical exercise to be a well balanced pet. Training is an excellent tool to exercise your pet’s body and mind. Additionally, the number one reason pets are surrendered to shelters is behavioral problems, so choosing a qualified trainer will positively impact your overall experience with your pet.
Whether you choose Pete and Mac’s Pet Education program or another trainer please keep in mind that the trainer should:
- Have a genuine love and appreciation of dogs-it should be readily apparent this person sincerely enjoys and has a passion and a talent for dogs.
- Use humane training methods and have effective dog handling skills. A good trainer has many tools in their toolbox and doesn’t claim one method works for every dog. Beware of the trainer who speaks poorly of different training methods; if you encounter this, ask what the basis of their opinion is and if they have used these methods before or are they simply parroting what they have been taught or what is a popular opinion.
- Place importance on and give the impression they will be able to effectively train you as well as your dog. Dog trainers should really be called “pet parent trainers”. It will not be of any help if you are not able to carry out training instructions and be successful in getting your desired results when you are not in the physical presence of your trainer.
- Have an extensive and varied knowledge base and be able to handle/avoid behavioral issues as well as teaching obedience.
- Stay current with training methods and tools by reading, attending seminars, workshops and conferences. Being affiliated with or a member of dog behavior or training organizations is not a requirement, but should be considered a plus as this signifies a desire to for continuing education and a dedication to learning.
- Have a good sense of humor and plenty of patience-training your dog needs to be fun and the most progress will be made in a pleasant, low stress environment.