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  • Writer's pictureCanine Training Co.

How To Find The Best Dog Trainers

Finding the right trainer for your dog involves considering several factors to ensure you choose someone who can effectively address your dog's needs and suit your training style. Here are some steps to help you find the right trainer:

Assess Your Needs:

Behavioral Issues: Identify any specific behavioral problems you want to address (e.g., aggression, anxiety, excessive barking).

Training Goals: Determine your goals (e.g., basic obedience, advanced tricks, agility training).

Research Trainers:

The dog training industry is unregulated. This means that anyone can claim to be an expert without having any experience. Make sure to look for:

Credentials: Look for trainers certified by reputable organizations such as the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), or the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT).

Experience: What schools have they (or their staff) attended.

Who have they apprenticed with.

Check their experience with successfully addressing the issues your dog has.

Are they (and their staff) transparent with their training.

Reviews and References: Read reviews and ask for references from previous clients.

Training Methods:

Philosophy: Ensure the trainer uses balanced training techniques.

Training Tools: Do they understand how to properly utilize different training tools and methodology.

Approach: Observe a training session if possible to see how the trainer interacts with dogs.

Personal Compatibility:

Communication: Choose a trainer who communicates clearly and effectively with both you and your dog.

Comfort Level: Ensure you feel comfortable asking questions and expressing concerns.

Practical Considerations:

Location: Consider the trainer’s location and whether they offer in-home sessions, classes, or boarding programs.

Cost: Compare costs and see if they fit within your budget.

Availability: Check the trainer’s availability to ensure it aligns with your schedule.

Trial Session:

Initial Meeting: Arrange an initial consultation to see how your dog responds to the trainer and vice versa.

Evaluation: Use this session to evaluate the trainer’s methods and your comfort level.

Red Flags to Avoid:

Lifetime Guarantees: Be wary of trainers who guarantee specific results, as each dog is different.

One Size Fits All Training: Avoid trainers and companies that push one style of training. Only positive reinforcement, or only punishment based training. Each dog is different and training should be based around what your dog needs.

Signing You Up Without Meeting Your Dog: If a company or trainer signs you up for any training without an in-person assessment, this should be your biggest red flag. This is nothing more than a sales tactic and poor business ethics.

Questionable Reviews: Some companies pad their reviews with fake clients. Be mindful if the reviews seem fake or have no feedback from the client.

No Education: Look for their educational background. Too often people fall for a nice website and pretty photos. While it is great marketing, it will not be in your dogs best interest. Growing up around dogs does not make you a dog trainer. Love for dogs does not make you a dog trainer. Participating in dog sports does not make you a dog trainer.

Going to school for, apprenticing with an established trainer, or getting certified through an organization makes you a dog trainer.

By carefully considering these factors, you can find a trainer who will effectively work with you and your dog to achieve your training goals.

The Canine Training Co.  is an industry leader. Providing guidance and training help for almost two decades.

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