Choosing a person to train your dog is a very important decision. Knowing your dog’s personality can help you decide on which method of training will work for her/him. Of course you never want to choose a trainer who uses punishment or harsh methods. Your goal is to find a trainer who subscribes to humane methods.
Methods used to train dogs can be treats such as food or a favorite toy, praise, and clickers.
For undesirable behaviors, you don’t want trainers who use sharp commands, collar corrections or other harsh methods.
You can decide on private or group lessons. The advantage of group lessons is that your dog also has the benefit of socializing with other dogs and working with distractions. With one on one lessons, your dog has the undivided attention of the trainer. I’ve used both types with my dogs and they both have worked well.
Before making a commitment, you can observe how the training sessions are run and what type of equipment is used. Ask the trainer about his/her experience training dogs and experience with your particular breed.
Your first meeting with the trainer will include showing proof of up-to-date vaccinations. You will discuss goals (simple obedience or more advanced learning, any problem areas), how long sessions are and how many sessions and of course, fees.
Once the decision is made, purchase the same equipment used by the trainer. Prepare treats, tiny pieces of food that your dog particularly likes. Dress appropriately and wear comfortable shoes – you’ll be glad you did. Before each training session, walk your dog so that s/he will eliminate and won’t cause problems during training.
Do your homework. Practice daily what you and your dog have been taught. Practice shouldn’t be long, 10-15 minutes 2 or 3 times a day will prevent your dog from becoming bored or tired.
A good trainer should be able to understand your dog’s signals, body language and know the breed’s characteristics. Since owners are being trained to train their dogs, a good trainer will have people skills too.
Every dog needs obedience training and socialization. If you follow through, you’ll have a well-behaved and happy dog.