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How To Find The Perfect Dog Trainer

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Finding the perfect dog trainer can be a daunting task, especially if you're a first-time dog owner. A good dog trainer can make all the difference in your dog's behavior, health, and overall well-being. In this article, we'll discuss 8 things you should look for when finding the perfect dog trainer for you and your dog!

1. Determine your goals and needs

Before you start your search for a dog trainer, it's important to determine your goals and needs. Are you looking to teach your dog basic obedience or do you need a trainer who specializes in behavior modification or maybe even trick training? Do you want group classes or one-on-one training sessions? Understanding your goals and needs will help you narrow down your search.

2. Training Methodology

Choose a dog trainer whose training methodology aligns with your philosophy. Some trainers use punishment-based training, others are what we call fear-free positive reinforcement trainers, and others identify as balanced trainers who will positively reinforce the positive behaviors they want while also correcting the unwanted behaviors that they do not want. Positive reinforcement based training, is generally considered to be more effective in the long run and more humane than punishment-based training.

3. Look for certifications and experience

Dog training is an unregulated industry, which means anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. Did you know that some dog training certifications are handed out online without any real world experience!! Yes, look for trainers who have certifications but most importantly who have experience working with dogs in the real world. Have they worked with dogs of different breeds, sizes, ages, and temperaments. An experienced trainer can quickly identify behavior problems and develop effective training plans. Getting an online certification without real world experience should not be enough. Some certifications from reputable organizations such as the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) or the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) or a Professional Pet Dog Trainer (PPDT). A passionate Dog Trainer consistently engages in ongoing learning, immersing themselves in their profession throughout their career.

4. Read reviews

Reading reviews can give you valuable insight into the trainer's teaching style, the type of person that they are and effectiveness of methods. Look for trainers who have positive reviews and happy clients. And ask yourself these questions: Do I agree with this Trainers approach to training? Do I feel like I could have a good connection with this person?

You need to remember that much of Dog Training is actually training you so working with someone who you like and respect is important.

5. Check out their Social Media

Looking at a Dog Trainers social media can also be very helpful. This will give you an idea of their personality, their training style and if what they preach / teach mesh's with your vibe and goals. Having someone in your home and working with your dog is very personal, you should trust and like this person.

6. Customized Training Plans

Choose a dog trainer who creates customized training plans for each dog. A one-size-fits-all approach to training does not work for all dogs. A good trainer will evaluate your dog's personality, behavior, and training needs before developing a customized plan.

7. Communication Skills

Choose a dog trainer who communicates well with both dogs and humans. A good trainer should be able to explain training concepts in a clear, concise, and understandable manner.

8. Consider the Cost

Dog training can be expensive, so it's important to consider the cost when choosing a trainer. However, don't let cost be the only determining factor. Remember, you get what you pay for, and investing in a good trainer can save you money and stress in the long run.

In conclusion, finding the perfect dog trainer takes time and research. Consider your goals and needs, look for certifications and real world experience, check out their social media, reach out to them to have a call and see how your communication is with them. By following these steps, you can find a trainer who will help you and your dog achieve success.


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