Choosing a Dog Trainer
Once you have clearly defined issues and goals for you and your dog, you can easily reach information overload the deeper you dive into finding that "right for the dog and you" trainer. Be LEARY of trainers who use guilt tactics or that try and convince you that there ways are the only way or it's the highway. It is only a matter of common sense that not all dogs respond to similar methods equally and in some cases a dog may need a special approach to solve an issue. Some dogs will require more or less effort with a particular method or management style and again you will ultimately set the standard and make that decision in the learning/training journey.
Some things that might influence your decision to choose a particular trainer are listed below and it is up to you to assign the priority which you find most appealing, important or influential. GOOD LUCK!
1. What methods does the trainer use and why?
2. Can the trainer's method be easily explained?
3. Can the trainer's method be easily understood by you and your dog?
4. Can/will the trainer provide you with an honest explanation of the pros and cons of
methods he or she will use if asked? (keeping in mind that any method can have an adverse outcome depending on application)
5. How dependable/reliable is the training method and how often must you proof the training?
6. Does the trainer provide any guarantees, include follow-up support, and at what cost?
7. Does the trainer require that you buy training equipment, what kind, from whom, and at what cost.
8. Does a trainer offer multiple options, i.e. private consultation, in home, group training, board and train ect? Can/do they provide advice as to which would be best based on your particular situation or does the trainer recommend a "one size fits all" approach?
9. What experience information does the trainer have or provide.
10. Does the trainer trial/have ADVANCED titles in handling dogs and in what disciplines? Obedience, agility, search and rescue, therapy, hunting, herding, fly ball etc.
11. Does/can the trainer provide written documents as to there philosophies and are they clearly understood verses, ones that require great time and effort to fully understand and perform?
12. Does the trainer give demos or clinics for the public?
13. Is the trainer a member of particular organizations that you find influential?
14. Does the trainer offer feedback forms to be filled out by each client that you may view?
15. Does the trainer offer special training for aggressive dogs, therapy dogs, assistance dogs ,protection ,tracking ,herding ,search and rescue etc..?
16. Is the trainer easily accessible and will the trainer provided prompt response to your questions and concerns?
17. What experience in health issues/health care does the trainer have?
18. Does the trainer check the dog for structural problems, hearing, sight, and other health issues that effect training upon receiving your dog for training?
19. Does the trainer provide information on the vet he/or she uses/recommends and are policies clear and to your satisfaction?
20. Does the trainer require dogs to be up to date on all required vaccinations and are dogs inspected for fleas and other parasites while on premise?
21. Does the trainer clearly explain all policies, to include rules, regulations, and any refund policies?
22. Is the trainer licensed as a business and meet all city, county, state and federal regulations?
23. Does the trainer make you feel comfortable and at ease to include handling your dog?
24. Does the trainer have experience breeding dogs or whelping litters?
IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT NONE OF THESE ATTRIBUTES GUARANTEE OR MAKE A GOOD TRAINER IN THEMSELVES!
© 2005 Robert Rogers- all rights reserved.