Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finding a Good Trainer

Wow, I did some checking and there are alot of folks out there "training" now. In the days I started you were lucky to find just a few of us.

Here's some thoughts on finding the trainer that is right for you. First, it's always good to get a referal, either from a friend or even better your vet. Veterinarians hear alot of the good and bad of their client's training experiences.

Always call and chat with the trainer/owner of the business. There are a few certifications you can have as a trainer, but to be honest, they all require you passing a written test, which is fine, but book learning and years of experience are really two different animals. A good trainer has been doing this for longer than just five years. They have dogs that have titles, either with AKC or other venues that prove they are able to train their OWN dogs to do more than just sit and stay. They are involved in other organizations. Hopefully they give their time and expertise to these folks as well for either a lower rate or even better free. A good trainer not only has to have a deep well of knowledge, they have to be able to relate it to other folks. Nothing worse than a trainer that comes up to you, tells you you're doing it wrong, but doesn't have any other ideas to help you! How often I've heard folks who say their dog "flunked" training school. Nope, they didn't flunk, the trainer did.

Be sure you go and watch a class before you sign up and turn over your money to someone. There are many approaches to training, and we certainly don't train all the same. Even folks who "say" they use positive training - it's all how they perceive it, there's nothing written in stone in what that actually means.

So take your time checking out your potential trainer - you will be trusting them with one of your most treasured possessions, your relationship with your dog!

Deb Schneider
Corky the yorky, Everee the border collie, Eli the bloodhound

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