Dog Training and Dog Care advice from UK Professionals

Choosing A Dog Trainer or Behaviourist

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Choosing A Dog TrainerMany dog owners use professional dog trainers or dog behaviourists to further their dog training skills.

Sometimes this is done on a one-to-one basis, sometimes people go through a dog training club of some kind. Unfortunately anyone can call themselves a dog trainer yet have little or no experience, particularly with your breed or the type of dog obedience or training you want to do with your dog. So how do you go about choosing a dog trainer that can meet your particular needs?

The best place to start is by asking at your vets or local pet supplies shop. If there is a reputable trainer in your area then word
will have spread around. Of course you can look for a trainer in the phone book but we advise using recommendations as this always comes from a third party who will normally have nothing to gain from recommending one particular dog trainer over another. It will ideally be based on first hand experience of his or her skills and success. This is the type of advice to follow.


Any reputable trainer will arrange to meet you and your dog. Do not be afraid to ask about his or her background, experience and areas in which they excel. Also try asking for a quick demo of their skills. Our head trainer at K9 Obedience will gladly demonstrate his skills and in fact usually insists on it, in order to gain the respect and attention of the client, this is to ensure that the client trusts what he says so that they will listen and actually DO the things they are advised. Clients not following orders (:-) are the biggest problem for good trainers, and there are more owners who can't obey commands (even when paying for them) than there are dogs who won't obey!

Good Dog Trainer
The trainer should be concerned about the dog's welfare and should be asking detailed questions about the dog's lifestyle, feeding habits and any training the dog has had.

You should be interested in which dog training methods the trainer uses. What equipment do they recommend? If they recommend shock collars and such like, then the chances are their dog training style is based more on punishment or harsh methods than positive reinforcement, which is the way we recommend training a dog.

Are they up to date with the latest training methods? Do they sound confident and knowledgeable? Do they know things about your dog breed that you didn't know? Most good trainers will have an in-depth knowledge of most popular dog breeds.

Be observant and watch how the trainer interacts with your dog, and expect to be asked lots of questions about both you and the dog. Also expect to be TOLD what to do, and what not to do. Good dog trainers often have a heightened level of confidence and self-assurance which they have gained through success. It is not a bad sign, it's a good one, so be quiet and listen, you will get a lot more for your money if you do.

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The trainer should establish how the both of you interact and what rules and exercise regimes you have with the dog. This is important should your dog have any training issues. Be honest. If you let your dog sleep on the armchairs and take food off your plate, then say so. If your dog is displaying dominance over you then the trainer needs to know why and how the situation has evolved. If you are economical with the truth in answer to a good dog trainer's questions, you are only harming yourself and the success in your relationship with your dog.

Choosing A Dog Trainer continued... ->

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Choosing A Trainer

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