For the majority of modern dog owners, choosing the right dog trainer is one of the most important decisions they will have to make regarding their dog. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most difficult decisions to get right.
Assuming you have already determined that you need the help of a trained professional to guide you and your dog , you will very likely be faced with a virtual armada of people claiming to be the only dog trainers in the world who hold the key to lifelong obedience and happiness. Many offer guarantees (more on that later), some claim to be zen-like coaches ready to help you become your dog’s ‘pack leader’ (red alert!), and others charge more per hour than trained human psychologists (don’t be fooled).
So how do you navigate through this minefield of options and emerge with a truly qualified positive trainer who will work with you and your dog using modern, force-free, science-based tools and techniques?
To answer this correctly, we need to back up to the first step in the decision-making process: do you need a dog trainer in the first place?
Do I Really Need a Dog Trainer?
Good dog trainers often find themselves in the awkward position of having to justify their chosen profession, because to at least some degree, everyone thinks they’re a dog trainer. A commonly-heard refrain among dog owners is that “no one knows my dog like I do.” While that may very well be the case, it’s not really relevant to whether or not that makes them the right choice to make dog training decisions. While many dog owners might be proficient handlers, qualified dog trainers do possess a skillset and information which they have worked very hard to master, and the gap between a well-meaning, intelligent dog owner and a trained professional is wider than many sometimes believe. PAGE 2