How to Choose a Dog Trainer

dog trainerI always find it funny when people think they can get a cute puppy, cuddle it, love it, and all will be well. I really wish it was that way, but dogs need to be trained or you’re opening yourself up to a whole lot of trouble! An untrained dog won’t just be messy and disobedient, it could be downright dangerous depending on the breed.

The cheapest way to train your dog would be to do it yourself. There’s plenty of great book out there. If this is the way forward for you, I recommend you visit Amazon, type in “your breed training” and breed specific training books will come up. Just let the reviews determine which is the best book for you. But sometimes, it’s easier and better to go to a dog school or if you can afford it, hire a dog trainer to get the best pet training available.

So let’s take a look at how to chose the best dog trainer.

  • If the trainer has a place of business, then visit the school without your puppy first to get a good feel about the place. Does it look professional, clean and safe?
  • Where has the dog trainer received his or her training. There’s plenty of different Dog Training Certificates out there – have they received schooling / training from a respectable place? While this is not really necessary, and if the trainer has great reviews – certification can be overlooked, but it is a great bonus!
  • This links to one of the most important points and that is referrals. Get a few referrals to determine the quality of the trainer and whether previous dog owners were pleased with the results from the dog trainer. This in my opinion is way more important that a certificate!
  • While some one-on-one time with the trainer and dog is to be expected, make sure you are being included in most of the training process. It’s no good to you if the dog listens to the trainer and not you. You need to know what to say, how to say it and what to do for dog training to be truly effective.

You can search for dog trainers near you using the search function at the official website for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. The APDT is an organization of individual trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education; so it’s a great starting point. But one thing to bear in mind, is that unfortunately dog training is an unregulated industry; so anyone can call themselves a dog trainer – so I would always recommend you do your research before handing over your dog. Typing the trainer’s name in Google is always a good starting point for basic research.


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