7 Suggestions for Finding a Skilled Dog Trainer


Working with knowledgeable dog trainer after I adopted Sitka was among the best decisions I made for the each of us. 

I felt resistant at first because I believed that needing to rent knowledgeable meant that I had failed. Nevertheless, I spotted that I had plateaued with my knowledge and wasn’t reaching my dog training goals alone.

Despite having a solid foundation of dog training knowledge from my very own research and practice with previous dogs, hiring knowledgeable dog trainer forced me to decelerate, practice the little details, and provided me with additional learnings that I never would have picked up from a book.

If you happen to’re considering whether or not to rent knowledgeable dog trainer, this post might allow you to make a decision. You’ll also learn find a good trainer.

Suggestions for Finding a Skilled Dog Trainer

In my experience, finding a dog trainer is much easier than finding a brand new doctor, but it could possibly take a while for those who’re just starting your search.

Because anyone can call themselves a dog trainer, you must do your research and homework to make sure you’re selecting fit for you and your dog and that the trainer is reputable.

The ideas below will allow you to discover what to search for in a trainer and supply some advice on go about your search.

Discover Dog Training Goals

Having an understanding of the training goals you must achieve to your dog will allow you to pick the fitting dog trainer to realize those objectives. For instance with Sitka, my goals included:

Once I identified these training goals, I used to be in a position to narrow down my seek for a trainer in my area that might help me achieve these exact results.

Determine Which Dog Training Method You Wish to Use

Before on the lookout for a dog trainer, you first need to determine which method of coaching you must use. Essentially the most common method are Positive Reinforcement or Force Free. I personally went with Balanced Training methods.

I compare the difference between the varied methods in my article explaining why I selected to go together with a balanced dog trainer.

Talk over with friends who’ve used each methods and gather information from them, fairly than from articles alone.

Balanced training has a foul status due to its incorporation of coaching tools like e-collars and prong collars, but it surely’s mostly just biased marketing noise from individuals who have never used the tools.

Remember, YOU know your dog best. Dog owners are incredibly opinionated and can push their method on you. Make an informed decision based in your comfort, training goals, and dog’s personality.

Have a look at Certifications and/or Education

Finding the fitting dog trainer to your needs and purposes can take some work. You could make sure that that they’re fit and that they do what they are saying they do. 

Since dog training shouldn’t be a licensed career, doing all of your homework is essential. Having a certification doesn’t guarantee a level of experience, but it surely does mean that the trainer needed to undergo some type of education and pass some tests to earn the certification.

I personally don’t require the dog trainers I work with to carry specific certifications. 

What is essential to me is that they’ve proven that they will help me achieve the training goal I would like to achieve with my dog.

Regardless, search for the next, whether the trainer is certified or not:

  • Proof of skills – before and after videos, explanatory videos and social media posts, etc.
  • Education – shadow training, courses taken, workshops attended, etc.

Details about their methods, tools used, pricing, and education should all be available on their website or upon request.

Ask for References

A good dog trainer will handily provide references upon request. Ask for 3 to 5 references and provides them a call or shoot them an email to get deeper insight into their experience.

Along with direct communications with past clients, search for testimonials on their website. Video testimonials are at all times nice because the person is definitely speaking their mind.

You’ll also wish to search for before and after videos, training videos, etc, on social media channels. Most dog trainers could have a YouTube channel and Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Visit the Facility

Once you think you’ve found fit, ask for those who can tour the power and/or attend a lesson to watch.

This may let if the place is clean and you possibly can get a greater sense of how they train dogs.

Discover a Trainer Who Does Similar Activities with Their Dogs

Search for a trainer who engages in similar activities as you do along with your dog.

If you must hit the paths, search for a trainer who does as well. Is agility your thing? Hunt down someone who also participates in the game.

The explanation for it’s because you could have very specific goals along with your dog depending on the activity.

You need to ensure that your dog trainer understands what you’re asking for so that they can allow you to get to that time.

Make Sure They Train the Dog Owner, Too

Much of dog training is admittedly about training the owner. Board and trains are great, and so they’re also not magic fixes to dog training.

If the owners don’t know perform the training at home, then the dog is just going to revert back to their old ways.

Once you’re on the lookout for a dog trainer, you must find someone who teaches the humans as much as they teach the dog.

Most board and train programs will include a go-home session, a follow-up session, and a mid-way session.

I used to be originally planning on doing a board and train with Sitka, but I ended up doing 1:1 lessons and am so glad that I did. By doing so, I became the dog trainer and I had an incredible grasp of what I needed to implement to realize my dog training goals.

Where to Discover a Dog Trainer

If you happen to don’t have a trainer in mind already, use quite a lot of methods listed below to search out 3-5 options. 

Schedule a call with each after you fill out their intake form to get a greater sense of whether you’re feeling prefer it’s fit. 

Some good places to search out a trainer include:

  • Ask friends for recommendations
  • Check on the IACP website
  • Search on Google and skim the reviews
  • Instagram (I even have an inventory of dog trainers to follow to provide you some ideas)
  • Your local independent pet store (I don’t recommend big box stores, like PetSmart and Petco for training)
  • Ask for referrals from previous clients

Most significantly, trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, then move on.

Inquiries to Ask a Dog Trainer

Once you schedule a phone call with the dog trainer, ask the next questions:

  • What methods do you employ?
  • What tools do you employ?
  • Are you comfortable working with [insert dog’s issue]?
  • Are you accepting recent clients?
  • How do you involve the humans within the training process?
  • What type of access do I even have with you after we finish training? (most will provide advice via phone and email for the lifetime of the dog)
  • Do you have got follow up training packages?
  • How do you stay current along with your education?

Tips on how to Spot Red Flags When Choosing a Skilled Dog Trainer

Because dog training isn’t a licensed industry, it means there are not any algorithm and regulations every dog trainer must follow with the intention to call themselves a dog trainer. This isn’t necessarily a foul thing, but it surely just implies that it is advisable to be diligent about your homework.

Listed below are some red flags to search for in your dog trainer search:

  • It doesn’t feel right in your gut
  • Their website doesn’t mention what tools or methods they use
  • The web site doesn’t list pricing
  • They don’t have any testimonials or proof of concept (like a YouTube channel or Instagram account)
  • Communication is slow
  • The trainer becomes defensive if you ask questions
  • The trainer puts down other dog trainers
  • The dog trainer talks negatively about other training methods with none experience using them
  • They refuse to allow you to visit the power

How Much Does a Skilled Dog Trainer Cost?

Rates vary depending on the variety of sessions, weeks of boarding, and experience of the dog trainer. 

A sensible expectation would range between $500 and $5,000. I realize it is a HUGE range, but the excellent news is, it implies that there’s likely something inside your budget.

Board and trains will likely be the most costly option, but would require less work from you in the course of the initial training process. Your dog will likely be fully trained after they complete their stay and you may proceed the work from home.

Private 1:1 lessons are more cost effective since you will likely be doing the majority of the training. During a lesson, your trainer will show you perform a skill and you may work on that skill in between sessions.

If you have got the time and dedication, 1:1 lessons are great because, ultimately, you will likely be the one training your dog over the course of their life.

7 Tips for Choosing a Professional Dog Trainer


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