How to Avoid the Top Training Mistakes: Part 1

Part 1:  How to Choose the Right Trainer


Finding a dog trainer you trust can be a tricky path to navigate. The following information and questions can help you find a trainer you’re comfortable with.

What you should know about dog training.

There is no circumstance that would ever make hitting a dog appropriate in training or behavior modification. Dog training is an unregulated industry, meaning  there are no standards of care or minimum education requirements.

Questions to ask any prospective trainer:

What certifications do you hold?
Remember that dog training is an unregulated industry so anybody can call themselves a trainer.

Which animal behavior institute did you attend?
Asking this question ensures they understand dog behavior and use science based training methods. not a hobby trainer and is serious about this business, and makes it their lively hood, not just a hobby in spare time.

Ask your trainer for references.
Can I have a list of 5 clients who have had similar issues to talk to?

This is so you can ensure the trainer you’re talking to is knowledgeable and will get results with your specific issue. A trainer who is unwilling to offer references should be avoided.

Does your dog trainer guarantee results?
This is a trick question, no trainer is able to guarantee results. Training depends on many variables, which need to be addressed to make a training program successful. You will also need to be able to replicate what the trainer is doing to get lasting results.

What happens when the training plan you select doesn’t appear to be working?
Make sure your trainer has multiple ways of solving an issue. A method that works on one dog will not work for all dogs or situations.

Is your trainer knowledgeable about all training methods/ideologies?
If they only have one ideology, what happens if it isn’t right for you and your dog?

“What exactly will happen to my dog when she gets it right? What exactly will happen to her when she gets it wrong? Are there any less invasive alternatives to what you propose?” 
If you don’t get clear, concrete answers, keep shopping.

For more information like this see Jean Donaldson’s course site