How To Choose A Trainer
Training your dog should be fun! A competent Positive Reinforcement
Dog Training instructor will allow and encourage you to observe a
class prior to making the decision to enroll. In a well-run class,
dogs and people will be enjoying themselves and having a successful
learning experience. Look for an instructor who is approachable and
who encourages participants to have a good time. If space permits,
an instructor should welcome and encourage all family members and
others who interact with the dog to attend class.
A skilled class instructor will:
- Provide a clear explanation of each lesson.
- Demonstrate the behavior(s) that students will be teaching to
- Provide clear instructions and written handouts on how to teach
- Give students ample time in class to begin practicing the day's
- Assist students individually with proper implementation of techniques.
A skilled and professional trainer will encourage dialogue and
be courteous to both canine and human clients alike.
You want to be comfortable with the training tools and methods
used by the instructor. A skilled and professional dog trainer employs
humane training methods which are not harmful to the dog and/or
handler, and avoids the practices of hanging, beating, kicking,
shocking, and all similar procedures or training devices that could
cause the dog great pain, distress, or that have imminent potential
for physical harm. You have the absolute right to stop any trainer
or other animal care professional who, in your opinion, is causing
your dog undue harm or distress.
A conscientious trainer will stay informed about innovations in
dog training and behavior tools and techniques. Check to see if
the instructor is a member of any educational organizations such
as the APDT, and whether s/he pursues ongoing educational opportunities.
A good instructor will take care to protect your dog's health
in a group setting. Ask if dogs and puppies are required to be vaccinated
prior to class and, if so, which vaccines are required. Make sure
you and your veterinarian are comfortable with the vaccination requirements.
Current clients are a valuable source of information for you.
Attending a group class gives you the opportunity to ask clients
how they feel about their experience - if they are enjoying the
class and feel that their training needs and goals are being met.
Because of variables in dog breeding and temperament and owner
commitment and experience, a trainer cannot and should not guarantee
the results of his/her training. However, an instructor can and
should be willing to ensure client satisfaction with his/her professional