You may have seen some news in the past about people who have claimed to be a certified dog trainer, but were abusing their customer’s dogs. People like this have never stepped foot in a training school, but are able to convince people that they are licensed and experienced dog trainers.
What could compel a person to put on such a charade and commit such heinous acts is something we can barely understand. But what we can do is make sure how to find a good dog trainer to ensure our pets are learning from and being treated the best.
What to look for:
You can check out any prospective trainer on The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) website. They not only have a great non-biased database of registered trainers, they also have some great resources to help you find the best trainer in your area. A lot of good trainers will have references that you can check as well. Also, during the class, make sure they do not yell, choke, tug or frighten any of the dogs. Instead, they should withhold treats or praise and ignore undesirable behavior in place of chastising your dog. When possible, family members should be able to participate in the training to reinforce the training for both the pet parent and the pet.
Questions to ask:
- What is your educational background in training and canine behavior?
- What method(s) of training do you use?
- Do you engage with continuing education?
- Are there any special services you provide (competitive, therapy, or service training)?
- To what (if any) professional organizations do you belong?
- Do you have any certifications?
It can be hard to decide who to trust, especially when you are leaving your loved one in the care of a new stranger. If you have any doubts, double check references, stay for class and if you have to, take your dog out as soon as you think something may be amiss.
Train Your Dog Yourself
If you have the time an patience you might want to train your dog yourself. After all, who knows your dog better than you? There are a lot of Dog Training Books on Amazon to get you started.
You can also grab our Infographic about Training to help get you started.