With so many dog trainers out there, it can be hard trying to choose the best one for your dog. Trying to determine which dog trainer is the best qualified to train your dog can be a difficult task.
The American Dog Trainers Network recommends the following criteria for choosing a dog trainer for your dog:
Reputation: Recommendations from your vet, other reputable trainers, friends that have had their dogs trained, etc. can help a lot in deciding which trainer to go with.
Experience: You should look into each potential trainer’s background before deciding on your dog’s trainer. Years of experience and areas of expertise are just a couple of things to look for. A good, professional dog trainer won’t hesitate to answer your questions, so be prepared to ask a lot of them. Afterall, your dog is part of your family.
Training methodology: Reputable dog trainers care about every dog’s welfare. They will know that harsh or abusive handling methods are counter-productive and not good for the dog in general.
Love for dogs: The best dog trainers have a general love for dogs, or they wouldn’t and shouldn’t be involved in that line of work. You’ll know a great trainer by his or her joy of living and working with dogs.
Extensive behavioral knowledge: Dedicated trainers keep up-to-date on all of the latest training methods by attending dog training and animal behavioral courses, conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. whenever possible. Make sure you inquire about any recent educational courses that the trainer has attended.
Teaching and communication skills: Dog trainers that have good teaching and communication skills make the learning process easier, quicker and more enjoyable for the dogs.
Affiliation with reputable organizations: You can always tell a good dog trainer by the organizations, associations and clubs that he or she is affiliated with.
Ethics or profit?: You should find out what motivates a potential dog trainer. Is he or she in it strictly for the money, or for their love of dogs?
Unless a dog trainer comes recommended by one or more reputable source, it really is a case of buyer beware. Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. Do your homework when choosing a dog trainer for your dog. Your dog is part of your family, so you should put as much effort into choosing a trainer as you would in choosing your dentist. The wrong kind of training could damage your dog for life.