Learn About a Dog Trainer

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Learn About a Dog Trainer

by Kelley Blackston



Their are several things to consider when choosing a dog trainer. Whether you are choosing one to train your dog or considering becoming one yourself, you must consider several key factors. When finding a dog trainer, you must know what to look for, the basics of certification and licensing, the types of training, and how one becomes a trainer.

When looking at dog trainers, consider the following:

Experience- Be sure the trainer you choose has experience dealing with not only a wide variety of behavioral issues, but also your breed, specifically. Different breeds require different training styles. While positive reinforcement will work for every breed, for example, some more independent breeds, like spaniels or terriers, will need more reinforcement and training time. A trainer who has worked with various breeds, will be able to work with certain temperaments.

Methods- Read up on the various methods of training. The 3 major categories are jerk and pull, positive reinforcement, and a subsidiary, clicker training. Rally-O is labeled under positive reinforcement. Make sure you are comfortable with the way your dog will be trained. If you do not plan on going to the training sessions, make sure you observe one before you send your dog.

Recommendations- Word of mouth is the best way to get information on a trainer. Ask your local veterinarians, groomers, and boarding services to recommend a trainer. Ask acquaintances and co-workers what their experiences have been. Finally, ask the trainer herself to give you referrals.

Location- Do you need a trainer to come to your home? Would you rather send your dog off to a ?camp?? Do you want to enroll in a class? Consider these questions and find a trainer that meets your expectations. Also consider where your doggy will be trained. Is the middle of a store similar to the dog?s natural living arrangements?

Flexibility- Is this trainer willing to meet you and your dog beforehand? Is she willing to work with you one on one with any problem dog behaviors? Will she tailor sessions around your schedule?

Cost- Be sure the trainer is in your budget. Training can be quite expensive, but can range significantly. The best value usually comes in bulk sessions. Paying for them one at a time can get expensive.

There are no required licenses or accreditations for dog trainers. The AKC recognizes many trainers as Canine Good Citizen Licensed, and there are organizations, like unions, for dog trainers. Trainers can also become licensed and bonded business professionals, but there is no license required for training dogs. Again, the best way to check for professionalism is to ask for referrals.

Their are numerous ways someone can become a dog trainer. Their are schools, programs, and colleges for trainers. These all require course work and hands-on training. Few modern day trainers, however, have participated in any formal class.

The most popular way to become a trainer is to become an apprentice. Find a local trainer that meets all of the above criteria and is willing to take on a student. Start with some necessary reading like, ?Don?t Shoot The Dog? and books that teach background, psychology, and methods.

After you have digested the basic concepts, start watching classes. Gradually, your trainer will ask you to assist and you will gain knowledge little by little. It may take longer to learn dog socialization and aggression techniques. A good trainer takes her time and has a lot of experience before she goes out on her own.

No matter whether you are searching for a trainer, or interested in becoming one yourself, do your homework. Know what to look for, the types of training, and how your trainer works. This checklist will ensure you get what you want out of the experience.

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