Many people may want to ask, “how do I choose a good dog trainer?” When adopting a dog and especially when it is the first, it is essential to have advice. Each dog is different, but behaviors come up often. A professional can help you understand your dog and help you troubleshoot issues.

Your dog trainer will, among other things, help your dog or puppy socialize; you can also meet other dog owners and discuss your difficulties. Choosing a competent dog trainer is not easy. For me, many trainers have stuck with traditional methods and use fear, intimidation and force, which are not ideal by any means.  

Characteristics of a Good Dog Trainer:

Each dog trainer will have different approaches to dog training. Let’s find the right approaches for the dog and the owner. You will have ample options for dog training in Orange County.

A Dog Trainer Should Be Friendly and Open

The trainer should be approachable and be willing to answer any questions. That means any and all questions! The dog trainer is paid by the hour but if you have any questions, he must be available and answer you, even if it is late.

The Dog Trainer Must Provide You with Clear Instructions

Depending on the difficulties you have encountered, the dog trainer should tell you which exercises to follow. The exercises will be done between you and your dog. The dog trainer is not there to train your dog for you. The lessons should be easy to understand with a clear purpose. Solve the problem! Ideally, the trainer should provide you with follow-up sheets to know your dog’s progress.

He Demonstrates the Exercises with Examples

The trainer should be able to demonstrate the exercises, preferably with a dog that is unfamiliar with the particular behavior. 

Failing with his dog

There should be enough time to practice the exercises with your dog during the session and also for you to be able to ask questions. And everyone should get personal instruction on fine-tuning your techniques and answering any issues. Sessions with an educator can be collectively or individually. I prefer 80% group sessions and 20% individual sessions to refine and correct learning.

To find out if the dog trainer suits you, I advise you to attend a group session. You should be comfortable with the instructor and the methods he or she uses to train your dog.

The Sign of a Bad Dog Trainer

Here are some signs that should alert you to a professional dog trainer or behavior that you should stay away from.

Outdated Training Methods

A trainer should never use methods that feel uncomfortable with or that are harmful to your dog. We still see a lot of educators recommending the choke collar for learning to walk on a leash without pulling. This is a traditional method that inflicts pain on your dog. There are many other positive methods that are more effective. I prefer a gentle method; it’s more pleasant for me and my dog.

Training Guarantees

No one can really guarantee that your dog will be well trained after the sessions. If the difficulties persist after many training sessions, the dog trainer must be present and able to direct you to a colleague. Sometimes that could change everything.  So if the trainer promises you that he will deliver perfect results, that should raise a red flag. 

 

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