Find a Dog Trainer with the Right Attitude and Skills

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Find a Dog Trainer with the Right Attitude and Skills

by Ira Nelson

As many and varied are the books, courses, and programs on dog training, so are the concepts and approaches used by different dog trainers. There are however basic attitudes and skills that you should look for when trying to find a dog trainer that are universal. These same attributes will serve you well if you are interested in a career in dog training or just looking to train your own dog.

Even though dogs have personalities just as people do, they are not simple-minded or imaginative in the same way that people are. Their brains naturally work in a way that responds to a consistent, persistent, and patient style of training. If you can, above all, find a dog trainer with these qualities, you are out ahead.

The demeanor of a good dog trainer should be foremost one of calmness, constraint, and concentration on the training task at hand. It cannot be a hit-or-miss thing. Some lessons will be picked up quickly, others may take weeks of consistent repetition to finally be mastered. Some dogs and/or owners will require extreme patience and composure.

Find a dog trainer who is willing to explain clearly what methods they use and why, what their objectives and goals are, and who does so in a friendly, patient manner. After all, if your trainer is good with your dog, but has problems communicating with you, then half the training battle is lost. You will not be able to continue your dog?s training at home and the inconsistency will confuse your dog.

Of course, there are many variables such as different breed and individual dog personalities as well as owner personality that will have a bearing on training success. Observe how your trainer handles himself/herself with different dogs and different owners. This may be your best way of determining his/her ability to adapt and adjust but still get results.

Another area of expertise a responsible trainer should have a working knowledge of is dog health care. A dog?s ability and inclination to learn will definitely be affected by how he feels. It?s important for a trainer to recognize obvious symptoms of disease or injury such as dog diabetes, hip or joint problems, and parasitic infestation. A good dog trainer has developed an insightful ability to read a dog?s body language and therefore be prepared to react to excitement, nervousness, aggression, fear or other emotions in such a way as to bring the dog into a balanced and calm state. They know how to use this skill of alert observation and immediate response to effectively maximize your dog?s training.

One resource to check if you are trying to find a dog trainer in the U.S. is the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Not all qualified dog trainers are members but the APDT does make instruction and training for trainers available to its members. There website is:

Ira Nelson has years of experience in the dog care and training field. More information, tips, and techniques like the ones in this article are available at

For more information on this subject go to Dog Obedience Training.

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