You want to find a professional dog trainer. Fair enough, there are many out there. But can you tell the good from the bad? Like anything there is a good way & a bad way to train a dog. It’s very important to do your due diligence before choosing a school or trainer.
Although there are many dog training organizations, schools & associations, dog training is unregulated. Anyone can claim to be a dog trainer regardless of their experience. This lack of regulation leaves the door open for people who practice outdated or dangerous dog training methods.
Let’s look at some red flags that may warn you to move on & keep looking. It’s a sad truth but there are trainers out there that shouldn’t be allowed near a dog.
Do they talk about the “pack leader”? For many, this may seem like a strange thing to consider a problem, but the fact is that the use of this phrase reveals a lack of understanding about dog behavior. Of course we should provide leadership to our dogs, but those who still use this phrase in dog training are almost always traditional, old-school trainers, who train through intimidation, dominance & punishment.
Do they suggest your dog is too dominant? it is commonly used by bad trainers as a catch-all of nearly every behavior problem imaginable. The truth is quite different & a misdiagnosis of ‘dominance’ as your dog’s problem almost inevitably leads to an incorrect approach that causes more harm than good.
Do they recommend or use shock, prong or choke collars? Keep looking, these devices are painful & cruel.
Other warning signs could be a lack of interest in your dog’s history. No references offered or if they supply references, they all seem too perfect. The most important thing you can do is ask lots of questions. Inquire about the methods used. Make sure they have insurance. See how knowledgeable the potential trainer is & if you aren’t satisfied, keep looking.
CEO Olivia ❤