How you should choose a Dog trainer!

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!

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About dogsliketraining2013

Hi Folks: I have loved and trained dogs for 30+ years, training in various styles and am now a professional trainer. Many were rescues. I love to chat about things in the news, things to share with others about dogs! I love to read your dog posts too! Please keep it nice on my blog! Nasties will be removed!
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6 Responses to How you should choose a Dog trainer!

  1. colliebrookcrossing says:

    One thing I’m struggling with is which method of training I want to use. We started with clicker training, with a trainer who said “absolutely not” to choke and pinch collars, but since moving halfway cross the US and talking to new trainers, they say “choke and pinch collars are ok. You should get one for your dog.” But I know they don’t work for him. I got him a fabric collar that tightened when he pulled and he literally choked himself out. I just could not get any constructive response from him. But then clicker training worked, and it worked like magic, but I can’t find any trainers here that use it. So for now I’m working from what we learned in the beginning of one class before we moved while still searching for a trainer that will help us pick up where we left off with clicker training.

    My point is that I agree with you. Be picky about your trainer, and their views on dog training. If you’re uncomfortable with their method of training, don’t let them train your dog. There are places that will take your dog for a period of time and when you get your dog back they’re supposed to be trained. I do NOT like that. I want to train my dog, because training strengthens the bond between human and pup. And I don’t get to see the process. How do I know they’re treating my dog the way I would? Are they man handling my dog to get compliance or are they using strictly positive reinforcement?

    There is just SO much to think about when it comes to dog training, and people don’t realize that when they adopt a dog, young or old.

    Sorry this was so long winded! 🙂

    • Hi:

      Thanks for responding. I feel sad that you are unable to find a trainer that utilizes your preferred method of using a clicker. Here is my suggestion, find someone who is well versed in all methods. I have experience with many methods and it depends on the dog and the people to what I teach and how. You want to find someone who uses positive re-inforcement and not harsh methods.(this does not necesarily mean clicker training) There is not anything wrong with the Martingale that you were using, you probably just were not shown how to use it correctly to achieve results. The same would go for a prong and again, nothing wrong with those as long as they are used correctly. Ninety per cent of the population uses them incorrectly and the dog does indeed end up choking themselves. I do not advocate Choke collars as they do just that(Martingales are much saner as they can be adjusted). Since your dog is well versed in clicker method continue on with that on your own. It is a very repetitive type of training so stick with it! Remember though, treats should only be used to teach the task required and weaned off or your dog will become dependant on them. Ask if you can go and watch some classes and you will see for yourself if it is something you may like.

      Now that being said, I note from your page that you say your dog has pent up energy. Instead of going to the gym why not buy a long line(you can get fifteen to fifty feet) and take your dog for a good run instead? Border Collies(even crosses) have extreme amounts of energy and wish to work! Their energy is boundless. That is another idea look for a sheep herding training facilty near you. That is something that your dog would love, love, love as will you! That would definately burn some energy and hone the dog’s working skills! To find such an organization, please google the Interational Association of Professional Dog trainers or Border Collie groups. I think that is the best thing to teach your dog. They will learn obedience as well as herding! Utilize that skill! Otherwise your dog will be herding up all your schoolbooks and dishes while you are out lol!

      But if that isn’t possible for you, definately try the long line, you won’t have to run 85 mph and the dog will be safe if recall isn’t that good. If you want some more training tips, stay tuned to my blog!

      Let me know how it goes. Kathy and the dogs~

      • Oh and one other thing Stephanie: This is for dogs that have to stay alone for a fair bit of time. By yourself a good sized Kong(indestructable dog toy) if he doesn’t have one and fill it with a few kibbles of food, some cheese whiz or peanut butter and stick in the freezer. I like to have several in the freezer at one time. You can also put soft dog food in it. Freezing will give them a longer time to enjoy the treat and they can gnaw on it after! Also perhaps there is a dog day care where they often offer a play area where your dog could go once or twice a week? Just thinking out loud, hope some of what I said helps.

      • colliebrookcrossing says:

        The thing with my goofy Ranger is that if I run, he thinks something is wrong and he comes straight to me whining and crying and tries to jump up on me and lick me to tell me everything is ok. Or he sits right against my leg and wraps one paw around it and howls. Instead of running, I spend a lot of time with him outside throwing around balls and sticks, or just letting him run circles around me.

        His favorite game is running as close to me as he can while still staying just slightly out of reach while I stand in one spot and try to “tag” him as he goes by. After about 20 minutes of this he’s like “ok mom I need a nap, come back later.”

        Otherwise, in the house he is usually fine unless I don’t spend time playing with him.

  2. That is funny! Good that you found something he likes to burn his energy. But do try the kong, works like a charm:) He is a cutie, was looking at his pics! Keep up with all the positive good changes in your life! I always say we never get the dog we are searching for, but always the one we need!

  3. Hi Stephanie: Finally checking in on my blog…new phone so going to have to figure that out how to use so I can post more. How are things going with Ranger? I meant to tell you if you want some good online training check out Leerburg. Relationship games, engaging your dog etc. Lots of free and online classes. Happy Holidays!

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