Bringing a new puppy or rescue dog home can be exciting and frightening all at the same time. Ensuring your new furry best friend doesn’t cause havoc around your home is vital to creating a loving and happy space for years to come. For new owners and ones just looking to re-vamp their dog training skills, a great trainer can make all the difference.
Young dogs tend to get separation anxiety from being in a new home alone and missing their new owner which leads to unwanted chewing and barking/crying. A good trainer can help puppies learn basic commands, potty training, and help with issues like your dog jumping on guests.
You’re in the right place for tips on how to find a great trainer. Making the decision to hire a dog trainer or go to a dog school is the easy part. It’s important to choose a trusted and certified trainer who won’t waste your time or money and have the most benefit to your dog in the long run. The dog training industry isn’t regulated and anyone can claim to be a “trainer.” It’s important to ask the right questions and do some research beforehand.
Make sure your potential trainer has a certification from a verified training program like the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers. To learn more about the different types of trainer certifications, check out this guide from The Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Ask potential trainers when the last time they got re-certified was, as they should get re-certificated every three years to stay updated with the latest science and methods.
It’s also important to figure out the best needs for you dog. Classes will be different for a new puppy who needs to learn basic commands to a dog with one problem area like jumping on house guests or running away. Find out if a trainer offers a particular class or private training that will suite your needs. Often group classes add the extra benefit of socialization, but one-on-one might be best for your dog’s needs or if he becomes anxious around others. Remember a trainer coming into your home will be more expensive, as well.
Observe a Class
Most trainers will let you observe a class for free, without your dog present to get a feel of the training style and class atmosphere. Ask for references and testimonials of past attendees. Yelp is a good place to start for finding a local trainer, if you wanted to steer away from the classes at chains like Petco and Petsmart. These classes aren’t bad either, but some dogs prefer the smaller, more intimate classes or one on one style courses from smaller local teachers.
There are two types of trainers: classic and positive. Classic trainers tend to use words like alpha, dominant, and corrections. Positive trainers use words like positive reinforcement, clicker training, and cues. Go with them style you prefer for your dog.
Bottom line: check out 3-5 trainers in the area, observe classes, and if your dog doesn’t take well to the one you choose don’t hesitant to stop classes and find another trainer. It will benefit you and your dog in the long run to living a happy and healthy life. Make sure to have your Flea Away
to use as a yummy treat during training.