Are you in need of a dog trainer? Someone who can help your pet with calm greeting behavior, walk nice on a leash and come when called? Someone with good communication skills, with you and your dog. Someone who is confident in their skills and gets results? Me too! As my business grows I am in the position to hire another dog trainer. Quality dog trainers are hard to find. I know because I work with families who have had experience with dog trainers who are rude or don’t get results. Some do more talking than training. Anyone can call themselves a dog trainer so you have to do your homework and find the right person.
I want to hire someone to help me train dogs and this is what I am looking for. First they have to be an animal lover. I would love to work with someone who is comfortable with horses and dogs. I’m nervous around horses and the horse knows that. Anyone that can control a 1000lb. animal is usually good with dogs as well. The more dog experience the better. You don’t necessarily need experience training dogs. I can teach that. What is important is experience working with dogs; Vet Techs, Doggie Daycare, 4H, and dog kennels. People that have some experience reading dog behavior and are used to handling dogs is a plus.
Has the trainer studied at a Professional Dog Training School and are they certified? This tells me they have a baseline to begin with and they have some general scientifically proven methods on basic dog training. The more time they have on the job the more knowledge and experience they have with dogs. All dogs are not the same. Many of the same training methods work but some dogs respond better with food reward others with play. Some dogs are just nervous, are not food driven or toy driven so you need to find other methods in communicating with the dog “this, not this”. Once they understand your language they tend to come out of their shell and perform.
There is dog psychology and human psychology. A good trainer knows how to communicate with the dog and also with the human. Once the dog is trained it’s time to train the human. Many times there are mixed signals going on in the home. Everyone must be on the same page with the dog. Dogs cannot reason and want consistency. With a dog you cannot have it both ways. A trainer with good communication skills is a must.
Meet with the trainer before hiring them to work with your dog. Talk on the phone with them and meet with them personally, with your dog. How are they on the phone? Friendly and informative or demeaning and short? If you don’t like them or they rub you the wrong way keep looking, they probably will not be liked by your dog either.
Finally, what kind of results do they offer? When I am hiring a dog trainer I want to see them work their dog. If their dog doesn’t listen, has to be told 3 times to do something and won’t walk in a heel position without a leash, I don’t think they are much of a dog trainer.
So, when hiring a dog trainer, look at their personality, experience, certification, and their dog. If the trainer’s dog doesn’t obey why do you think they can get your dog to obey?