Dog Training Blog

So many options! How to hire the right dog trainer

Post by: Kelley R. on Jul 6 2016

Hiring the right dog trainer for your dog is important!  You are going to be spending quite a bit of time with them, teaching a very important family member (and your dog too).   Here are a few things to look for:

Does the dog trainer come to you?  For those of you that have dogs with behavioral problems (ie running out the front door, jumping on furniture, counter surfing, etc.), a lot of times they are “area specific”, meaning that they tend to happen only in certain environments and situations.   Practicing there at your home is imperative.  That being said, your trainer can talk it over with you and explain how to correct the behavior.  But, think about whether or not you want to attempt that sort of thing yourself.  Having a trainer come to your house is more expensive, but in our humble opinion, very much worth it.

What training methods does your potential trainer use?  E-collars, pinch collars, choke chains, gentle leaders, clickers, treats – these are all common training tools.   If your dog is mild-mannered, a more mild approach such as treats, clickers or gentle leaders may work depending on what level of obedience you want to accomplish.   If your dog has a more dominant personality, you should choose a more dominant approach with an e-collar, pinch collar or choke chain.   I’m a strong advocate of the e-collar; we use it in a very mild way as a conditioning tool, but if your dog is more on the dominant side of things, we can turn it up to make sure that your dog is following instructions.  We use a multitude of different training methods, whichever will work best for the given situation.

Does your potential dog trainer want to train your dog, or teach you how to train it?  Dogs are also what we call “handler specific”, meaning that they respond differently to different people.  It’s very important that you practice with your own dog in order for it to mind for you.   Most dog trainers are “dog-people”, not “people-people”, so keep that in mind when you are introduced.  We, at Dog Training Elite, do both.   We will train your dog, teach you what we’re doing, and walk you through teaching your own dog.  It’s equally important to be a good teacher as it is to be a good dog trainer.  And a good dog trainer will essentially put themselves out of business, by teaching you all you need to know about dog training and behavior.

Have you met your potential trainer’s personal dog?   This is a step that I think most people don’t think about.  It is a clue as to what your dog is going to be like once you get done with the training.   Is that dog friendly?  Does it mind?  Does it seem happy to be there?

How’s the customer service?   You are bound to have questions.  Dogs operate within the realm of common sense, but often times you may feel like your dog is from a different planet if you don’t know about dog psychology.  Do you feel like you could call your potential dog trainer down the road for help?   Are they helpful on the phone when you call them now?

Price.  Does the price fit into your budget?  Does your potential trainer have a payment plan?  I personally feel that you should “get what you pay for” in this world.  Does your potential trainer feel the same way?   Do they value quantity or quality more?

Please keep this in mind when considering your next dog trainer.  If you hire a good trainer, they may just be the last you’ll ever need.