not always easy to find a good dog trainer, who can best teach your pet the essentials of proper behaviour. It will definitely take time, information digging and reading reviews from other pet owners, but the investment is absolutely worth it.
Here is what to look for in a trainer who knows what they are doing.
First, What’s the Goal?
The question to ask yourself before taking a pick is, “exactly why do I need to find dog training near me?” What you would like your dog to learn as a result of the classes? Do you need him to react to commands or correct some behaviour that you don’t know how to?
Check what a trainer’s expertise and area of focus is, in order to find out if they can best help you achieve the results you are looking for.
Watch them At Work
Trainers would not usually object to potential clients watching a training session (without the dog present) before signing up for one themselves. Seeing the trainer at work will allow you to get an idea about their style and help you decide whether they are a good choice for your dog.
Also, ask to read any testimonials left from pet owners that already took advantage of the training. Watch for specific things they mention about how the learning took place and what skills were acquired by the dogs. Remarks and suggestions will help you read between the lines.
Do You Have Concerns About Their Work Methods
Now this might seem a no-brainer, but it is worth mentioning. Are there tools or methods the trainer uses that make you feel uncomfortable? Is there something about their work ethics that conflicts with your own ideas and beliefs about how a dog should be handled? If you do, chances are your dog won’t be happy with the method, either.
Perform a values check, and only if the trainer passes that, proceed with the other points for evaluation.
What Does a Good Session Look Like
There are a few factors that come into play here. First, you don’t want a crowded room. If dogs outnumber people by the dozen, you can be sure that your dog won’t get proper attention in the first place. Look for a good dog/trainer ratio.
Do the animals look happy to be there? It is certainly easy to tell if the animals are enjoying themselves. In order for learning to take place, the animals should by no means feel stressed or fearful of the person in charge. That being said, the latter should not be using any form of punishment as a means of getting results or obedience from the animals. If you see them hit, kick or forcefully pull the leash, get out of there and never return.
Inquire About Certification
It is true that there are some really incredible dog trainers who are not certified. Having a certificate doesn’t mean somebody is an expert, either. It means, however, that they at least cover some basic requirements, and supposedly have experience handling animals.
The certificate also gives you an idea about standards and general guidelines the trainer will presumably follow.
Do They Involve You in The Process?
It’s OK if you drop your dog off at the training and go about your daily business. This is sometimes even desirable, in cases where there are bad habits to correct, which originated because of the owner’s influence on the dog. If you suspect you might have contributed to your dog’s misbehaviour, check out this article to see if you are making a mistake or missing something.
In other cases, however, it is best if the owner and trainer work closely to develop a program, which is then supported and continued at home. This is especially important when both the dog and his owner need to correct a habit or behavior, in order to enforce the desired changes.
Meet in Person
Last but not least, meet with the trainer, discuss your dog training needs and how you both expect sessions to go. Let them meet and interact with your furry best friend and see how he responds to the person. See if trust can be developed between the three of you.
By the end of the meeting you most probably will have an idea if this is your dog trainer or not.