If you recently got a new pup or adopted a furry friend, you may consider hiring a dog trainer.
If you’re struggling with the decision and think you can do it yourself, think again.
This article highlights nine reasons to hire a professional dog trainer, what you should look for in such an expert, and where to find them.
Why hire a professional dog trainer?
Hiring a trainer can be a complicated decision. You might have heard stories from a neighbor or friend of dog trainers who didn’t live up to their reputation, or you decide it’s not worth it because you can use online resources.
Teach your dog obedience
Dog trainers are experts at teaching your pups or older dogs to follow obedience commands. They have years of experience and skills to train dogs of different breeds and sizes effectively.
Identify roots of behavior problems
Dogs with aggressive behaviors like barking at strangers, chewing and tearing household objects, or fighting with other animals aren’t necessarily bad.
That bad behavior might be because of poor training when they were pups. It may be a reaction to the trauma they endured in their former homes for shelter pets.
Professional dog trainers can help the pet through positive reinforcement training, whatever the case may be.
Get fast results
We live in an age where you can get any information at the tap of a button.
So, it is not shocking the DIY culture thrives. The problem with DIY is that it can take time, energy, and money to master.
You also might not see your desired result.
It’s hard to clarify what is true and what isn’t online, and even if you gather information from reliable resources, implementing training strategies is a new game entirely.
Teach the dog owner
Proper communication between your dog and you is crucial to having a long-lasting and enjoyable relationship. And while some people may think they can naturally understand and train their pets, it’s good to get expert options and instructions.
A professional dog trainer can teach you how to communicate better with your dog, and they can also help coach you on how to earn the trust and respect of your furry pal.
Provide reliable answers to your questions
We all have questions about our four-legged friends, and having a professional can help clarify and verify information online.
Dog trainers also can help answer questions regarding the dog’s behavior or recommend more qualified individuals or sources if they can’t give you a satisfactory answer.
Help maintain consistency
Most times, you need to retrain your pet to reinforce the basics, especially if you are often busy doing it yourself.
Training can be a reoccurring activity based on the agreement between you and the professional dog trainer.
Provide mental and physical stimulation
Dogs are playful and can be restless by nature (although this varies from breed to breed). Sitting at home while you and your family go about your day can stress your furry friend.
A group dog training session can be the perfect place for your dog to remain alert and channel excess energy.
Dog trainers can give you hints, tips, and methods to engage your pet or other ways to allow them to stay active, in shape, and stimulated.
Teach dogs to do tricks
While this may not be on the top of your list for reasons to hire a professional dog trainer, getting your pet to learn tricks can be a neat way of impressing your family or friends at your next gathering.
Who knows, with all the animal appearances on America’s Got Talent, your dog may have what it takes to be the next big Hollywood star.
Make a worthwhile investment
If we want to reap the returns on anything good in life, we must invest our time and money.
A dog training expert will help you connect with your friend; you will understand the meaning of treasuring a relationship and friendship.
Helping your dog understand what you expect and teaching him basic obedience will ensure your pup lives a long, healthy, happy life.
What should you look for in a dog trainer?
Now that we have addressed why getting a trainer is necessary, the next step is identifying what you should look for in an expert.
In an unregulated industry, it’s better to know some best practices and tips to ensure you hire a quality trainer.
Ask the professional about their training method. Studies have shown that reward-based training is more effective than any other training method.
Some trainers still use dominance theory when training animals, and words like “alpha” and “top dog” are thrown around in their vocabulary. That approach is ineffective compared to the reward-based method and can lead to the dog being more stressed and frustrated.
You should make sure your trainer isn’t using shock or choke collars, too, as they can end up causing more harm than good.
Education and experience
Enquire about the trainer’s education and experience. Many trainers learn from other trainers, while others get certified.
Certification doesn’t make the dog trainer an expert, but it shows their dedication to the job.
Certification with organizations like the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers is good. You can also check out The Association of Dog Trainers resource page, which offers tips for finding a trainer.
Referrals from satisfied clients
A great way to gauge a trainer is to ask for referrals from other clients satisfied with their service.
Calling previous clients is a good idea.
It might be a red flag if the person can’t provide three or four referrals.
Your gut feeling
It’s not only your pet who will learn from your trainer – you will learn lessons, too.
So take the time to talk to the trainer. Then ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you comfortable around the person?
- Do you like what you see when you attend a training session?
- Can you trust your dog with this person?
After spending some time talking with the dog trainer, seeing them in a training session, and discussing their skills with other pet owners, you should be able to answer these questions.
How to find a dog trainer?
The amount of information online makes finding a dog trainer a tricky job. Especially when there are no regulatory bodies to certify them for practice. You can start with these places:
- American Kennel Club’s list of approved CGC evaluators
- Certification for Professional Dog Trainers directory
- The Association of Professional Dog Trainers trainer search
- Or a pet trainer directory from SignalHire
Final thoughts on hiring a dog trainer
Hiring a professional dog trainer is the best step towards a strong relationship with your pet.
And just as you take your time before choosing a school for your child, you should also be intentional about choosing a trainer for you and your dog.