When it comes to dog training, you are hiring a professional and you are expecting excellent, professional results. You are not paying good money so that you can continue to deal with the same issues with your dog. But, with dog training you get what you pay for so, Buyer Beware. Anyone can put up a web page and say that they are a dog trainer. Anyone can pay money to attend a dog training school and call themselves a professional trainer. Education is great, but some people are excellent at what they do and some should go find another career. That is the reality in any field. Doctors and Attorneys go to school for a very long time and there are still some lousy Doctors and Attorneys. There are poor teachers, accountants, contractors and the list goes on and on. Just because someone is a certified dog trainer does not guarantee that they are good at their job. So, how do you go about finding a dog trainer that can help you get results? When teenagers and young adults contact me and ask, “what does it take to be a dog trainer?” this is what I tell them. First of all, I think it’s a God-given gift. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. There needs to be that fire inside you, that passion to do it. I believe any successful person is passionate and driven. That is what makes them successful. The next thing I tell them is to work with as many dogs as you can. Volunteer at the shelter, or find a part-time job working at a kennel. When I was a police officer I worked part-time on the weekends at a local veterinary hospital taking care of sick dogs and the boarders. Why? To get experience working with dogs. I worked third shift as a police officer and after my shift, I went straight to the veterinary hospital to care for the dogs. I did this for a couple of years, burning the candle at both ends to learn. Learn to read dog behavior, learn to handle and interact with fearful and aggressive dogs. You want to be a good dog trainer, you need to pay your dues. The next thing I tell them is to train with as many trainers as you can. Complacency gets you nowhere. I was lucky in that as a Police Canine Handler/Trainer my department sent me to a lot of K-9 Schools. I trained with a lot of dog professionals. It was a free education but that was not enough. I also spent my own money on travel and hotels to be able to study with trainers that the department did not want to send me to. I have trained in Canada and throughout the United States. I traveled to see a Cesar Milan Seminar
and trained with Robin MacFarlane
, as well as the DEA, FBI, Homeland Security and the United States Police Canine Association. Last year I attended the International Association of Canine Professionals Conference in California. I tell people the learning never stops. If you want to be good and what you do, keep your mouth shut and your ears open. That is what it takes to be a professional dog trainer. So what is a person to do that needs help with their dog? How to do you find the right trainer for your dog? Socials media is one place to look. Every town has a Facebook Group page for people to ask questions. Recommendations for a dog trainer? Ask your Veterinarian. Google and Facebook reviews will also be an asset. I think some people fake reviews or pay for them so there should be some detail in the review, not just “they are great”. Look at their web page. Is it professional looking or pretty plain with little or no information? I take pride in everything I do and I expect excellence in everything I do. I hired a professional because I wanted my web page to look professional. Do a little research and, once you find someone you would like to work with, set up a time to meet. Buyer Beware if they want money up front. We offer free evaluations. You bring your dog in, we evaluate, talk, work with your dog, and demonstrate our training and then you decide if we are the right fit for you. There have been times when I have told people, “I don’t think we are the right fit.” If the fur parent is argumentative, talks but does not listen, or I think is not going to make changes at home, I take a pass. I will refer them to another trainer. Why? Because I want to help the dog and get results. If the owner is not willing to make changes to help their own dog, I’m all set. It takes two for training to be a success; the trainer and the fur parent. The dog is always willing to learn and will adjust to the new rules we teach; sit, down, come, heel, wait, place even with distractions. To be a well-behaved dog becomes the norm, but it takes commitment and consistency from Mom and Dad. So, do you need help with your dog? Hopefully, you have concluded that you’ve come to the right place. Click here to contact the professional West Michigan dog trainers at Adams K-9
and schedule your free evaluation today.