It’s only natural to want to know about dog training services if you have a dog. Whether you’re a first-time owner or a seasoned one, such services come in handy. Perhaps you’ve just brought home a pup you’d like to train. Maybe your dog is starting to exhibit some behavioral patterns that have you concerned. Whatever the behavioral issue, getting your dog into a K9 training class is an ideal option; it’ll enable your dog to pick up desired traits while shedding unwanted ones.
How Do You Find a Dog Trainer?
With the dog industry being completely unregulated, it can be hard for dog owners to find the right trainer. Knowing the red flags of a dog trainer is equally as important as knowing the characteristics of a qualified, good trainer.
Dogs have emotions too. This means that they need to be handled in a certain way. Failure to do so can have disastrous consequences. For example, fearful dogs are more vulnerable. This means that they need to be handled carefully. Whatever training methods are employed should not involve cruelty or harm. Of course, this applies to all dogs regardless of their past experiences.
The following are the red flags to help weed out unqualified dog trainers:
1)Use of Violence During Training
Some dog trainers consider it acceptable to assault a dog as part of their training method. Look out for any signs that would indicate a trainer is given to violence. For example, if a dog trainer insists on being “tough” with dogs, this is usually a euphemism for brute force.
2)Employing Cruelty or Barbaric Methods
It’s not uncommon to find dog trainers that swear by some questionable training methods. Such methods may include using tasers, shock collars that can deliver some electric volts to “motivate” a dog, or any such devices.
3) Yelling and Using Threats
Dogs have difficulty learning if they’re always threatened or yelled at. You want to avoid a dog trainer whose demeanor strongly suggests an uneven temper that causes them to lose their head while conducting their training sessions.
4) Using Physical Domination as a Training Method
Be wary of a dog trainer that uses extreme methods to get a dog to obey a “command.” This could include forcibly getting a dog on all fours or making it kneel. This is not only unacceptable but also dangerous; the dog could lash out and bite.
These are some of the main signs indicating that a dog trainer is not right for you or your dog.
Getting a qualified dog trainer means looking for certain things. Whether you conduct your search over the internet or find a dog trainer through an acquaintance, it’s good form to ascertain whether they have the right skill set to train your dog. Once you’ve screened a dog trainer for any of the above red flags, look for the following things:
Certification and Experience
There are several recognized dog training certification programs. Any trainer worth their salt will have at least one such certification. For example, the Certification Council of Dog Trainers is a course that offers the basics of dog training and more. While having such certification is not mandatory, it demonstrates initiative for anyone that wants to become a dog training specialist.
Experience is also key. The longer a dog trainer has been practicing their craft, the more likely they are to be experienced.
Great People Skills
It’s a great idea to preview any dog trainer you’re considering for hire. It will give you a good idea of what they do during their training sessions. While they should have a way with dogs, dog trainers should have good people skills. This will enable better communication with dog owners regarding any aspects of the training. You want a dog trainer that can give you concise tips on how to handle your dog at home. Any attempts at obfuscation or using language that’s only meant to impress without clarifying things is a big red flag.
Result Oriented Methods
Dog training may focus on altering specific behaviors. For instance, your dog may be rambunctious, given to excessive playfulness that disrupts things around the house. If you want to rein in such behavior, you’ll need a dog trainer whose methods are geared toward addressing such behaviors. Knowing such details about a dog trainer may require extensive research and observing them in action. This will help you decide if such a dog trainer is qualified enough for your dog.
All in all, ensure that you’re comfortable with any dog trainer’s ways and demeanor before hiring them. If it feels off, it’s best to find another one more to your liking.