13 Jul How to Pick The Right Dog Trainer For You
Getting a new dog? After getting food, leash, crate, bed, toys, etc. you’ll need to start thinking about building your community of professionals who can help you out.
As a professional dog trainer, I meet a lot of new pup parents who want to start their new family member off right but are so confused by all the conflicting information out there. Everything from friend’s advice to articles and videos all seem so contradicting! On top of that the dog training industry is currently unregulated so how do you find the right professional in the first place? Add to this the wide price ranges and various training styles and it can be down right overwhelming!
Finding the right professional can deeply impact your dog parent experience and help you stress-less when it comes to your furry family member. But how can you make sure the professional is right for you?
Dog trainers come in all varieties. Some of us are certified but through whom and what does that mean. Others of us are positive reinforcement based or “use the method that works for your dog”. It’s challenging to find the right professional for you and your pets. Here’s what to look for in a good, modern dog trainer.
1. What’s their experience?
Even this can be confusing. For example, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years” may not necessarily be a good thing. Are they still doing things the same way they did 20 years ago or have they evolved to become a much better trainer for both people and dogs than they were when they first started? They should be able to tell you the places and people who have helped them gain the knowledge and experience they have now.
2. Have you heard good things about them?
Ask other pet parents you trust for their recommendations. Chances are you’ll at least find out who to start researching. Online reviews can also be tricky because many people offer incentives for reviews or even ask all their friends and family to review them. Others put almost no focus here so they have very few reviews.
WORD OF MOUTH has always been the best way to find professionals from plumbers to dog trainers. You know these people are not getting paid to sing someone’s praises and instead they were truly impressed by them. Ask your friends, your groomer, your veterinarian and other pet professionals as well.
3. Do their values align with yours?
You can sniff out a dog person a mile away. Does enthusiasm for their profession ooze from their website? Do you see a deep care for animals and their humans? Will they take time to answer ALL of your questions or do they rush you into scheduling that appointment? Will they offer other professionals to interview or do they discourage this practice?
4. What does your gut say?
Your intuition knows if someone is right for you or not. For myself if someone is saying all the right things but something seems “off” that’s the thing I listen to the most. When you find the right one, you’ll have them for life!! So, take the time and really vet your options. You’ll find someone you absolutely love. I know it!
Working with dogs and their people to create the best life possible is my passion! If you’d like to learn more about my services, connect with me on Facebook, give me a call or send me an email.
Jennifer began to learn more about dog behavior and training in 2009, by reading all the latest science-based research she could find and by enrolling in a dog training course through Raising Canine, owned and operated by Susan Smith, CDBC, CPDT-KA. Jennifer earned her national certification in professional dog training through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) in 2013. She feels strongly that: “The attitude that’s brought to the training session by both myself and the dog’s guardian is critical to its success.” “I strive to fully understand the goals as well as the challenges of each client and work hard to develop a plan that works for everyone, including the dog.”