5 Things to consider before hiring a Dog Trainer
Okay! You’ve made the decision! You need professional help with your dog! But where do you start? Here are 5 things to consider before hiring a dog trainer!
There is so much information out there on the inter-webs. So many videos to watch on YouTube. And they all say something different! With all the confusing and conflicting information out there you are more than likely more frustrated then when you started!
1. Are they qualified to handle your specific situation?
Did you know dog training is an unregulated Industry? YES! Your 16 year old neighbor could build a website and call themselves a dog trainer! Gasp!! You could be hiring a dog trainer that has no experience!
There are certifications from private schools and continuing education courses. These prove that your trainer has had hands-on experience and is dedicated to continuing education to better serve you. However, these do not prove that a person is truly good at working with dogs or has successfully rehabilitated them. Which leads us to number 2!
2. Ask for Referrals and See Proof!!!
The trainer you choose should be able to prove success in dealing with a similar situation. I’m not discounting written or verbal referrals. I’m just saying, that with a video camera always in all of our pockets, there is no reason for a trainer not to have videos of the dogs they have helped. With YouTube and Facebook so easily accessible you should be able to get on either platform and find videos of their work.
If that is not an option, make sure you talk to previous clients of theirs. Preferably ones that had the same issue you are dealing with. Ask them about their experience with hiring a dog trainer, results, and how they are doing now.
3. What are YOUR philosophies? Think about what YOU are comfortable with!
For example, some people are absolutely opposed to using a training, prong, or e-collar. We happen to believe they are the most effective tools for breaking through the communication gap, when used properly. We believe this because we’ve seen it be successful in thousands of dogs. The dogs don’t lie!
That being said, if you are one of those people that are opposed, we would not be the right trainers for you. You will likely have many trainers to pick from in your area. Make sure that the trainer you choose agrees with and supports your own philosophies. You are the one that’s going to have to live with and work with your dog everyday!
4. How much money should I be spending?
This will vary widely as well. However, there are some things keep in mind when looking at investment vs results. First question you should ask yourself is, do I want a group class or private lessons? Group classes will tend to be cheaper but can be too distracting or overstimulating for some dogs. Private in-home training is going to be more expensive, but also more customized to your situation. Your other option will be a 2-4 week stay at a dog training facility or in a trainers home. These tend to be more expensive because the dog is physically there all day and needs care all day.
Remember, a really successful trainer is going to be busy. A really successful trainer it Is also going to charge more for their knowledge and time. Don’t wait until something has happened to hire a dog trainer.
5. Be clear on expectations for both you and your dog!
Whichever trainer you choose should be able to clearly communicate theories and philosophies to help you get the most out of your experience. They will also emphasize the importance of you being involved and practicing new boundaries, behaviors, and expectations. Training your dog happens every day… whether that’s good or bad, only you will decide. What you allow to continue… will continue! Your trainer should be giving you a solid plan with clear expectations for during and after training. Also, they should be available to you after training for any questions or refreshers needed.
I hope this answered a few questions or made you think more deeply about who is going to be the best fit for you, your family and your dog. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions… we understand… this is a family member you are trusting us with! We don’t take that lightly and want you to be as informed as possible!
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