Finding The Right Trainer For Your Dog

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June 17, 2011
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So it’s happened… all the silly puppy antics like chewing a pair of shoes, eating a plastic bottle up, or ripping a pillow has escalated to other things and is driving you crazy. The exercise routine, establishing a leadership role, and teaching commands has helped but it’s not enough.

Maybe the consistency is off, maybe the technique isn’t right. Either way, your dog is grown up and jumping up on friends and guests, grabbing things off the counter, or digging holes in the yard is becoming a big problem that can’t be solved by just you. It’s time for a trainer!

How do you find the right trainer for you and your dog?

There are group classes and individual private training. If you believe your dog can handle group classes and not be too distracted and is well-socialized, ask if you can visit the school prior to signing up. You want to see if you’ll feel comfortable with the class you’re thinking about, the trainer, the other dogs, and people. The only way to know this or get a feel for it is to observe a class.

If they let you watch, take note of the student to teacher ratio, observe the instructor, and read their policies about make up classes, if there’s a refund if your dog can’t work well in a group setting, and schedule that can fit your schedule.

Individual training is sometimes better as it helps you and your dog focus more on the lessons. The scheduling is often more flexible as well. When reviewing the individual trainers in your area ask what the length of time is for each session, recommendations from past clients, if payment is by the session or a flat fee, and cancellation policy.

Some trainers also offer email and phone call advice when they aren’t with you and others offer follow up training tips. The advantage of a private trainer is that the techniques can be tailored for your individual needs and you’ll work one-on-one. This can sometimes bring out results faster from your dog and your own behavior.

Remember part of training a dog is also retraining yourself! Good luck!

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