If you have a dog, you are not alone. Nearly 46.3 million American households have at least one dog. The majority of dog owners say their dog is well trained. Nearly 52% of people who own dogs think their dog was trained better than other dogs. About 46% say other dogs are better trained than their own. Almost all dog owners think that positive reinforcement is the way to go, nearly 99.5% say this. About 94% of dog owners say they do some training at home. If you have a new puppy, you may want to look into a dog trainer. Here are some tips to help you find the right own.
- Talk to your friends and family. With all of the pet dogs in the United States, you have to know a few people who have dogs as pets. Some of them have gone to a dog trainer. Ask around to see how they found the dog trainer and what they thought of the experience. The best way to find decent products and services has to be via a personal referral. If you got a purebred dog, ask the breeder about dog trainers in your city or area. They should have an inside track to some of the dog trainers who work near you.
- What do you want your dog to learn? Does your dog have behavioral issues? You should think about your situation and decide what kinds of things you need your dog to learn. About 55% of dog owners think the command, “come!” is the most important for dogs to learn but your dog may not be at that point. If you dog’s behavioral problems are sending you to the dog trainer, you may have to start somewhere else. Everyone’s situation is different and not all dog trainers handle all issues. Decide what you need and that should help you find the right person for the job. You can also ask your vet, they should have at least some information about dog trainers in your area.
- What is your philosophy on dog training? You need to be able to tell the dog trainers you are considering using what your philosophy is. Do you have strong feelings about choke chains? Some dog trainers use them and others do not. If you oppose the use of certain tools in dog obedience training classes, you need to be clear on those points. There are a lot of dog trainers out there so it should not be too hard to find one who shares your values and opinions about the best way to train dogs.
- Ask about the dog trainer’s certification. You can find decent, professional dog trainers who do not have any certifications. If you find a great dog trainer that you really like and then you find out they have not been certified, there is no reason to take your dog to someone else but if you are looking for someone new, knowing they have a certification shows that they have had to pass some tests and spent time working with different dogs. When a dog trainer gets a certification, they have to maintain certain standards and are more accountable. This may give you more peace of mind about who you are hiring to train your beloved pooch.
- Be an active participant in the process. The trainer you hire may want some one on one time with your dog but that doe snot mean you should not play an active role in the training of your dog. Many times, problems with older dogs are improved by focusing on the dog’s companion. You may need training as much as your dog does to get all of the results that you want. You may be passing on bad habits and idea to your dog without even realizing it. This is a good reason to be active in the training process. Plus, if you dog is scared around new people, your presence may make it easier for them.
Pet owners are very attached to their animals. These are not pets, they are members of our families. Finding the right dog trainer for your dog can make a big difference in their life.