From the Dog Paw: How to Find a Good Dog Trainer | pets

Woofs, with the addition of Abby to our family and our recent move to the country, we need to find a dog trainer to teach her how to be a dog. She was good at being a puppy, but she still has some rough edges that she needs to smooth out. Once she does that she will be the best dog she can be. barks! One can hope! arf?! There are many questions people might have when it comes to finding the right trainer and it will take some research to find the right one for you and your dog. Barkingly, it will be worth the time and effort.

Growl! Growl! Dog training is an unregulated industry. Any person can decide to go into business, print business cards, create a website and start collaborating with clients. Before spending your hard-earned money, it’s important that you do your research and be mindful of the choices you’ve made when working with others and your dogs.

Wow, one of the first criteria we use is location. Barks, when I was first adopted, Dad was impressed with a coach at Ashburn. They were highly recommended to me by my vet and have been great to meet at various canine events. Their website was the best and they offered a barking list of training courses. The paw? Courses were offered at a time, which meant driving home from work and then to class during rush hour. The office was also a good distance away. For us it was not comfortable and not a good idea to go to class tired and late. Paws, we didn’t want to just pick the classes that are closest to home either.

The first important aspect of a dog trainer that we wanted to know was their philosophy and teaching method. We support “paw reinforcement”, which does not use physical punishment for the dog or even the human when they are wrong. Pawsitive Reinforcement training rewards the dog for appropriate behavior by teaching alternative behaviors to replace inappropriate ones. These techniques are based on the science of animal learning and are often designed to strengthen the dog owner bond that encourages the dog to learn.

Phew, not all dogs will benefit from participating in training in a classroom setting with other dogs and people. Barkingly, it’s plausible that your dog would do well in private one-on-one sessions. For me, there were certain skills we needed to look out for in order for Dad and I to work well together. Although I took a few classes at a local pet store, most of my education was private. My human has special needs that had to be taken into account.

Paws, when we decided on a class I wanted to watch one or two from the trainer we chose. It is important to observe whether the dogs and humans appear happy during the sessions. If you have the Oppawtunity, chat with people in the trainer class to get their opinions. Are they happy with their sessions? What is the attitude of the trainer in class? How do the dogs react? How many dogs per trainer? woofs.

Barks, I’m also interested in what kind of tool a dog trainer uses. For barking, I’m not there to be shocked, so no shock collars, nor do I want to see spiked collars or choke collars or flexi-leashes. Paws, I expect to find them with leashes, flat collars, head halters, bite sized treats, toys, harnesses and lots of pawraise.

Barkingly, another concern for me is whether the area I am being trained in is clean and sanitized? If a dog, or even me, has an accident sharing our paw business cards with others, how is it dealt with? Materials for cleaning should be readily available. Paws, floors, doors, gates and all entrances should be clean. woofs.

Barks, this is where I like to have some fun. I want to know what training the dog trainer has? Do they have a string of letters after their name like APDT, IAABC, NADOI, or CCPDT? Do you continue your education regularly? Are they keeping up with their skills? Are you always looking for ways to teach better? After all, they’re going to teach the best dog ever, so they better be the best.

About us!

SHOT! MEOW! Do you like our articles? Barks and purrs, pawlease, follow us at via email to enjoy our adventures! Noah, Samson and Abby are Pawthors pawing at dog/cat grooming tips with facts and humor, and sharing fun stories about their lives with people! Our human, Allen Pearson, is a canine, wildlife and railroad photographer and author. You can find us all at:,,

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