Admit it, our fur babies are cute, but they could have behavior problems that can cause headaches. No matter the number of hours you spend trying to teach your dog, some things are best left to experts. Dog trainers can teach your dog basic obedience, as well as advanced level training programmed for dog sports. So you may ask yourself the question, “Are there any dog trainers near me? How do I choose one for my dog?” Read on to answer your question!
We at The Furry Companion would advise you to get a dog trainer while your dogs are still young. Puppies are easier to train than adult dogs. Early training would introduce potty training and improve socialization and overall character of your pup.
While certifications from reputable organizations are available, dog training is not a federal or state-regulated profession. Moreover, anyone can easily claim that they are the dog whisperer you need. To get the best results, we at The Furry Companion listed questions you can ask yourself when choosing from the dog trainers near you!
As paw parents, we love to assume full responsibility for our babies. We want our dogs to spend most of their time with us and train them ourselves. And there is nothing wrong with that. However, instilling discipline into our dogs may be more difficult when we do it by ourselves. It is not just about the lack of skill but also about the boundary our pets might not see. They might associate dog training to playtime, making it more difficult for them to see it as a learning activity. Likewise, some dog breeds are also known to be more challenging to train than others.
You can enroll your dog in different programs to address various behavioral issues, depending on his needs. Dog training could be done at home or a camp. The first thing you have to consider in choosing a dog trainer would be his or her location. Whether you need to send your dog to camp or let your dog trainer visit, it would be more convenient to choose a dog trainer near you.
It’s always helpful to look up the phrase online along with your location. Aside from forums and websites, search engine results will show a map of dog trainers near you, as well as ratings and reviews from other pet parents.
One of the most crucial factors you have to check in choosing a dog trainer is his or her guiding philosophy. Are you comfortable with the approach he or she will use in training your dog?
You should look for a dog trainer who employs positive reinforcement. This method is also called the reward system—treats will be given for every good deed and appropriate behavior. Training with a positive environment would create a loving environment for you and your dog.
Negative reinforcement, on the other hand, would result in a stressful environment for your dog. Some dog owners observed that using aversive methods may develop an aggressive or fearful natured dog because of the trauma.
Dog trainers differ in skill set. Their fees might also vary with their success rate and experience. Before getting a dog trainer, make sure that you know what skills and tricks you want to instill in your dogs.
Once you have concrete expectations, you can look for dog trainers who can deliver your needs. You have to make sure you relay your expectations and goals and come to a mutual agreement. Once you have a trainer for your dog, it’s vital to maintain constant communication with the trainer.
Dog training is an unlicensed profession; this means no government body regulates its practitioners. They would not have to satisfy a standard before offering their services. However, proper diligence in asking the right questions and conducting research would help you answer this question. You can ask for recommendations from other paw parents or look for testimonials from satisfied customers.
Like we mentioned earlier, dog training is an unlicensed profession. There is no dog training school you have to attend to be certified. However, your dog trainer may have attended schools that issue a certificate of participation. Different organizations dedicated to dog training may also conduct seminars among practitioners to share their knowledge. However, not all countries have organizations for this purpose.
You may reach out to the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, an independent resource for testing and certification of dog training and behavior professionals, for more information about certification. They are a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to setting professional standards in dog training and behavior. They provide dog owners with a way to identify trainers and consultants you can trust.
Many of us treat our dogs as our children. We would not entrust our dog with a stranger. If you can, schedule a meeting with the dog trainer before hiring them. Observe how your dog would interact with him or her. Does your dog seem frightened of the trainer? Do they have an instant connection?
Attending dog training is similar to going to your classes. We should create an atmosphere conducive to learning. Dog trainers who use and create fear as a teaching method might not be effective in training your dog.
A person who loves dogs does not automatically make them a dog trainer. The profession takes a lot of skill to be called effective. Being patient should be an obvious virtue a trainer should have. Provided below is a checklist of qualities that you should look for:
A Dog Trainer Near Me Should Be:
[ ] Patient
[ ] Observant
[ ] A people person
[ ] Enthusiastic
[ ] Firm
[ ] Trustworthy
Dog training is a relationship among you, your pet, and your furry friend’s trainer. You have to make sure you can easily talk to your dog trainer and eagerly listen. Both of you should work like you are raising a child together. In order to achieve that, dog trainers should be able to work with people well too.
Dog training could be held in classes or private sessions. Aside from not wanting to be separated from your dog, you should consider some factors before deciding what program to take.
Your puppies will be best included in a puppy class. Dog trainers have their way of incorporating learning in play. Puppy study dates will also help improve their socialization skills. If you prefer private lessons for your pup, try to ask dog trainers near you if it’s possible to schedule individual sessions.
These are the things you have to look out for in a group class:
[ ] Class size
[ ] Age group
[ ] Class level
[ ] Equipment and tools for reinforcement
[ ] Amount of attention an individual dog receives
[ ] Do they require proof of vaccination?
[ ] Are the dogs enjoying?
[ ] Are other paw parents present?
You have to remember that nothing comes instantly. Do not expect your dog to suddenly change its behavior overnight. What you have to do is to check if your dog trainer uses techniques you approve. This way, you can learn if you and the dog trainer are on the same page. If you belong to a class session, you may ask your co-paw parents about the improvement of their fur babies. Make sure to take note of your pet’s accomplishments from time to time.
You should always remember to consult with your dog’s trainer. Effective communication is essential so that you will be able to let the trainer know of your concerns. Is the dog behaving differently at home? Is the dog unresponsive when you give commands? Give your feedback freely so that both you and the trainer could work together on your dog’s improvement.
If, after several sessions, your dog still has not responded well to his lessons, do not hesitate to find a new trainer. Maybe his teaching style is not compatible with your dog. Do not be disheartened!
Recommendations are your best resource in finding a competent dog trainer. Try asking your veterinarian or his nurses during your next routine check-up. You may also try asking other fur parents you encounter at the groomers. When checking for services online, make sure to look at testimonials posted on their website or reviews on pet forums.
“What if I can not choose among the dog trainers near me?” Or, “What if I can’t find a dog trainer?” The skills and qualities needed by a dog trainer may be hard to come by. Sometimes, some areas have a low dog population for pet training and behavior services to thrive. Paw parents in these places may have difficulty in finding dog trainers. Then, you should step up and take online classes that may teach you the fundamentals of dog training. You just have to be patient with your fur baby. Treat this as your bonding activity.
If you think taking online classes is not enough, you may also look for online consulting services. Long-distance learning for your dog is now possible with the help of the Internet. You just have to arrange your schedule to fit these classes.
Finding a perfect dog trainer is a challenging but rewarding task. Succeeding will definitely make your paw parent life more manageable. But you must remember that learning always starts at home. You should also do your part in maintaining discipline by sticking to a routine and being consistent. Dog training is always more effective when reinforced at home.
We hope we were able to answer some of your questions. Should you have more, feel free to send them our way so that we can continue helping more pet parents in raising their fur babies!
An Engineering graduate and a pursuer of dreams, Martha is a big sister to three dogs Pokwang, Xian, and Mitoy. She braves through life’s challenges together with her friends, family, and furry four-legged siblings.