A trained dog is far easier to handle than one that will not obey your commands. It is a good thing to train your dog because it makes life easier and better for both your dog and you too. It sets the expectations and the rules for how you deal with each other. Much like children, setting the rules when they are young and malleable is the best option.
Training dogs, however, is not everyone’s cup of tea. It takes a certain kind of rigorous and discipline to inculcate the same in your pet. Many owners are too caring and pampering and are unable to set the rules in the right manner. They melt at those manipulating dark brown eyes and give into treats ad table scraps that the dog begs for. This is why hiring a trainer may be a good idea in the initial stages of the pup’s life. Choosing the right trainer can make all the difference in whether you will come out successful in this endeavor or not.
Things to Consider While Choosing a Dog Trainer
Dog trainer don’t come easy and therefore you must make sure that you pick the right one for your dog, so you don’t waste your money. Here are some factors to consider:
- Certification – The first thing that you should do is check for certification. There is no specific certification required to become a dog trainer. However, you should hire someone who has some education in the field related to animals and dogs specifically. A college degree in animal behaviour or certifications from associations and organizations like CPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers) is a good idea. Sometimes you may also find trainers who have certifications from local kennels and clubs. The idea is to ensure that the trainer you hire has had some education in fields related to animals and dogs, in particular.
- Review and references – There is nothing better than a good reference from another dog parent that you know. Ask around and check for others who have used the services of a dog trainer and dig deep with respect to the strategies used for dog training. Make sure that the style matches the kind of training style that you would like for your dog.
- Methodology for training – Different dog trainers use different methods to train dogs.
- Before hiring a dog trainer, ask them about their methodology. While some trainers use the whistle, there are others that use treats to train. The method of positive reinforcement works well since it is based on rewarding the dog when the instruction is followed rather than punishing him for a wrong move.
- Some allow owners to accompany the dog during training while others do not. The trainer should be able to explain the methodology that he intends to use.
- A good trainer will want to meet your dog before deciding what is best for him. The strategy that works best for one breed may not work well for another. Additionally, alpha dogs may need to be handled differently from more submissive dog personalities.
- Additionally, a trainer should ask you the kind of training and the level of training that you want. Do you intend to train your dog to guard or follow basic instructions as a house pet? If the trainer asks these questions, you will know that he or she knows the job.
- Demo session – It is not out of the ordinary to ask for a demo session where you can see the trainer interact with your dog. This will also allow you to get a feel for whether your dog likes the trainer or not. If the vibe in the interaction is not good, you may be setting yourself and your dog for failure. In the demo session, also notice how your dog reacts to the trainer and whether the trainer seems comfortable handling and managing your dog.
- Weaning – Many times dogs start to listen to their trainers and follow instructions. But when the time comes for you to start giving instructions, they refuse to follow. Check with your trainer about this phase of the training and how they will make sure that your dog listens to you and follows your instructions as well. A good trainer will give you some basic do’s and don’ts to ensure that the weaning away takes place smoothly.
- Location – Lastly, you also need to ensure that the training takes place in the natural surroundings of your dog. This is because specific instructions about house rules can also be included in the whole package.
Once you have thought through these aspects, choosing a good trainer should be easy. Through the help of a qualified dog trainer, not only you can increase its longevity, but you can be in control of the activities of the pet.