How to Choose a Dog Trainer

It’s no secret that a well behaved dog makes for a happy dog and even happier owners. But getting your pooch from bad habits to obedience can be a hard journey. If you are like most dog owners, you want a happy, healthy and well behaved dog – and have no idea how to get there. Finding a professional dog trainer can be the perfect solution for your family. Here are a few of our favorite tips on how to choose a dog trainer that is good for you, and for your furry best friend.

Look for a professional
While your next door neighbor might have a well behaved dog, he isn’t necessarily the best option for training your dog. Professional dog trainers should be well educated when it comes to canine behavior, and you should choose a trainer that has a certification from a dog training school and program. Your next door neighbor might have trained his dog well, but each dog is different and professional dog trainers have dedicated their career to serving all dogs and their families.

Find someone who will get the whole family involved
Good dogs should listen to everyone in the family home, including kiddos. When choosing a dog trainer, be sure that your trainer of choice makes a point to include everyone in your family with training sessions and experiences. Children should be involved with puppy preschool classes, and everyone should learn the commands so that your dog will listen and not be confused. Your trainer should recognize the importance of involving everyone in your dog’s life, and should know how to interact with kiddos and adults alike.

Search for intensive programs
Training your dog takes persistence, consistency, and practice. In all honesty, your busy life does not afford you eight solid hours per day to work on obedience with your dog, and that’s okay. When looking for a dog trainer, find one that offers intensive programs where your dog goes to “school” daily for a few weeks to master commands and skills. Even better, solid dog training services should include the option for dogs to go home with trainers in the evenings to continue the training. The more practice and consistency your dog has, the better he will master skills and commands, becoming a better behaved dog once he returns home to you and your family.

Look at graduates
Before you commit to your dog trainer, be sure you see other dogs she has trained. Ask for a demonstration, and ask for references that you can contact to get the skinny on your potential trainer and facility. Reputable trainers will offer this without you asking, but if you don’t see any previously trained dogs, don’t be afraid to ask.

Find a long term relationship
When searching for your dog trainer, you should find someone who recognizes the importance of a long term relationship. Your dog, no matter how well trained at the beginning, will benefit from continuing classes to brush up on skills and commands, as well as to socialize. Your dog trainer should have a facility that will be there for years
to come, and who will be available to help out your family with any behavior issues that pop up as your dog ages.

Go with your gut
When it comes down to it, you want a professional dog trainer that you can trust. More often than not, your instincts will let you know if your trainer and family are a match. Before you sign up for any programs with a trainer, go and visit the facility. Meet the trainer, and watch how she interacts with your dog before you make any commitments. Dog trainers who don’t offer the opportunity to see the facility or meet face-to-face prior to your training sessions should be avoided.

Professional dog trainers can be the guide and resource to help your dog gain confidence and skills. Whether you are searching for a dog trainer for your new puppy or senior dog, finding the right dog trainer can make all the difference. If you are in the Chicagoland area, we would love to serve you, your family and your dog – give us a call to set up a consultation!