I recently came across some websites and blogs that depict specific types of training offered. Does giving training a title make it the best? I am talking of buzz words like Balanced Training or Positive. (not endorsing/criticizing either just using a title) Wow that should get people’s attention right? Most people with a dog want to get the best bang for their buck and honestly may not know whom to choose.
Now please understand that I am not advocating one method of training over another. What i am suggesting is to ask questions of a prospective trainer. How long have they been working with dogs, where were they trained?
Do not let a trainer belittle you or your dog in class(this is not good). Enjoy your training! Enjoy a positive relationship with your dog and love him/her as well as your trainer. Nor should you feel uncomfortable with a teaching. If you are, ask the trainer to explain why we are doing this after class.
Ask your prospective trainer if you can come and watch a beginner and an advanced class. If they are worth a grain of salt they will say yes!
Do you want to go to a place that says one thing such as they are all positive and then tell you to pin your dog down etc.?
Do not close your mind to methods of training but ask questions of the clients(not just the trainer)… their success etc.
Do your research if you have a reactive dog, how will they treat that dog in class? Will you be banished to private classes?
Ask your trainer what experiences they have and how they were trained. A warning sign is one who does not list their experiences/training only their methods or not even that, just postings from other experts.
Finally, seek a trainer who will teach you to teach your dog fairly, intelligently and who understands methods of training, tools and how they should be used. One who will encourage you and your dog and help to solidify the training your dog is going to get. In other words once the class is over, what can they expect from their dog?
Finally remember all of what you read on the internet is not real or fact. It is like someone who goes to the doctor and he says well you have elevated something or other and you search on the internet and find 100 different diagnosis that match your symptoms. I had a client who used to email me at least five articles a night saying should we try this or shouldn’t we be doing that? I said the above and also said it seems like you are not understanding that I have your dog in front of me and those people are giving educated guesses on miscellaneous topics with no way of knowing how they fit the real world.
There are just as many discrepancies, opinions, methods in the dog training world on the net too! Don’t buy it all! See with your own eyes, ask questions!
And above all love your dog and don’t get frustrated! You and he should be learning a wealth of information in your dog classes!