How To Choose The Right Trainer For Your Dog

16 Jul 2014 | by | Posted in: Training

A common psychological concept in most humans is to enroll into something good like getting a dog almost spontaneously. On top of that, a more common practice is to have a reactive approach towards dog-keeping. With regards to training, the owners would just let the dog ‘be’ till something ‘unwanted’ happens like peeing indoors or biting or a dog-fight!

Read On How To Train A Dog   Basic Dog Training Tips

In an ideal scenario, there are very few owners who attempt to teach their dog commands from the day they arrive. This helps in strengthening the bond and trust between the owner and the dog.

Dogs sit-stay


Let us explore the major types of dog training professionals available to us:

Obedience Trainer

The most common type of dog trainer people opt for because of the ample number of individuals claiming to be professionals for a regular pay. This type of trainer usually just teaches commands to the dog while ensuring consistency and obedience.

  • Pro: Due to their hands-on approach with dogs they are able to display more tangible results by teaching verbal commands to the dog.

  • Con: They usually pay less attention to conditioning the owner, so the consistency with the dog is not properly attained by the parents. 

Behaviour Consultant

The more niche type of professionals that are slowly gaining popularity amongst the concerned owners. Behaviourist will be more focussed on working with the humans by explaining the reasons for each type of behaviour in the dog and how to modify them.

  • Pro: Their aim is to ‘train the human to train their dog’. This approach is very useful for owners who would like to be more involved with their pets on a regular basis.

  • Con: Training commands to the dog is not a priority for behaviourists, rather ensuring the owner knows how to ‘drive’ their dog.

Where To Look For Trainers

A hurdle for most dog owners is not what trainer to pick but how to find the right person. Before the upsurge of internet marketing of professional services, trainers were usually promoted via word-of-mouth between dog owners. Getting opinions from local veterinarians and rescue shelters is also a good way to find genuine individuals. Indian trainers usually never have a certified qualification so it is quite difficult to differentiate good from bad. In fact, I am a behaviour consultant myself but would really love to back my intention with a documented certificate to evidentiate one’s experience and expertise.

Of late, Social Media has become the most optimum portal for professional service providers to advertise themselves. The good part is that it is not very expensive for startup trainers to promote their page on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Also, asking for opinions of other dog owners about a certain trainer is also quite easy now.

We have a good trainer. What next?’

If you feel that you and your dog are responding well to your new trainer and the progress is going in the right direction, direct feedback is always nice. Make it a point to barrage the trainer with all your queries to ensure that both owner and trainer are on the same page.

As an owner, one should be extremely open minded and willing to change one’s attitude and routines as and when asked. I can never say this too many times, the owner is the main reason for the behaviour of the dog.

Don’t forget to give a review for the trainer online to promote learned individuals in this field. Most professionals, myself included, do not pursue commercial advertising and rely more on reputation. Letting the dog owner community decide amongst themselves about the good and bad is always the best option.

Dog-training table


Lastly, the most important thing to consider is the happiness and well-being of the dog. If at any point, it seems that your dog is not comfortable with the trainer’s personality then it is a definite time to reconsider. I usually judge people by how my dog behaves around them. They are able to see through a person like a transparent glass.

Stay tuned to find out the signs of a good trainer..!

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