Starting Your Dog Off Right: 5 Tips for Selecting the Best Dog Trainer

On blindfolded walk with guide dog Zeus in Noel Park
lynnefeatherstone / Foter / CC BY-ND

Having a dog as a companion is an amazing experience. However, for the best experience your dog will need some training to become a well-mannered dog that is welcomed almost everywhere. An untrained dog might bring joy to your family but at the same time be avoided by everyone else. It can be difficult for a new dog owner to choose the best dog trainer. The purpose of this article is to help you in the process by providing 5 tips for selecting the best dog trainer for your pet.

1. Do Research

Before choosing a dog trainer for your pet, do some research and get references from pet owners who have previously hired the dog trainer that you are considering. It would be helpful if the breed of your dog is similar to that of the other pet owners. Remember to ask technical questions about how this trainer deals with the dogs. A good dog trainer should not gain authority over the dog by yelling or brute force. Steer away from dog trainers who have many negative reviews and those who cannot train dogs with more controlled and quiet methods.

2. Certifications and Qualifications

Though being certified does not necessarily ensure a good dog trainer, it would mean that the dog trainer is qualified and trained. Do check out your local certifications for dog trainers and make sure that the dog trainer that you are considering is well equipped with certification. A well-trained dog trainer should understand the psychology, behavior, and health of dogs. He or she should be the best person to read the dog’s behavior and know what is the best way to convince and train your dog.

3. Group Training

It would be best to choose a dog trainer with group classes for dogs. The advantage to training your dog in a class is that your dog will be forced to learn how to behave and interact with other dogs. This is especially important as a well- mannered dog in other circumstances may misbehave when in the presence of other dogs.

4. Observe

Many dog trainers offer one trial lesson for your dog. Take the opportunity to sit in the class and observe the dog trainer in action. This is the best opportunity to assess whether this dog trainer is the best for your pet. Pay close attention to details like the trainer’s personality and patience towards your dog, whether the trainer is someone you can communicate and work effectively with to train your dog, and whether the trainer trains your dog in a gentle method or by using choke collars (which is not necessarily bad, but see if you are comfortable with the approach). Within one lesson, you should be able to tell whether this dog trainer suits the job.

5. Experience

Find out more about the dog trainer’s experience. As dog training and behavior varies according to breed, the dog trainer should have experience with the same breed as your dog. An experienced dog trainer for guard dogs may be totally clueless about the training technique for small indoor puppies.

To give the best training to your dog, it takes some effort and time to select the best dog owner. Give careful consideration in this selection, as the training of your dog will directly impact your life.