• November 5, 2017

Dog Trainers: Who Needs Them?

Dog Trainers: Who Needs Them?

Dog Trainers: Who Needs Them? 800 533 Superior Canine

DOG TRAINERS: WHO NEEDS THEM?

Should you consider hiring a dog trainer? If you ask us, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Through our many years of experience, we’ve seen behavioural issues lead to unfortunate situations, such as aggressive altercations, destroyed furniture, and eventual rehoming. These scenarios are all preventable by ensuring you provide adequate training and exercise for your companion.

From the day you bring home your new puppy, they will be adapting to their environment and stimuli, including humans and other animals. Getting started on the right foot will lead to improved physical and mental well-being. Many new owners have only the best intentions, but they can inadvertently promote the development of undesirable behaviours, such as biting, nuisance barking, pulling on the leash, and other common concerns. These issues can be further exacerbated by particular training techniques, including using punishments. Unfortunately, yelling at a dog isn’t effective for teaching them how to behave appropriately, and it can lead to fearful or aggressive behaviour. Simply put, it’s best to turn to the help of a trusted dog training expert to provide their guidance and expertise, even if you aren’t currently experiencing problems.

TEST YOUR DOG TRAINER

If you were going to invest your time, money, and effort into a course to improve your own skills, chances are high that you’d start by doing your research. Setting the foundation for success starts by finding the right program to reach your goals. It’s no different when you’re finding a dog trainer to work with your loyal companion. Professional dog trainers should be willing and happy to help you understand their approach, which is why we recommend starting off by asking the right questions.

We’ve put together our top 5 questions to ask a dog trainer:

  1. How long have you been a dog trainer?
  2. What experience and education do you have training dogs?
  3. Can you tell me about your training method?
  4. Do you have experience with my specific needs and goals?
  5. What are the next steps for getting started?
    • Costs for training
    • Required equipment
    • Schedule and timeline
    • Anticipated results
    • Procedure if results aren’t as expected

TYPES OF DOG TRAINING

Dog trainers vary in their preferred methods, so it all comes down to finding the best fit for your specific situation. From group classes, to private lessons, to in-board training, each approach has its own unique benefits and drawbacks. While there are many options available, we recommend beginning by assessing what’s available in your area, or how far you’re willing to travel.

Group dog training classes are typically the most cost-effective option and include elements of socialization, although ultimately your dog won’t receive dedicated attention to help reach the goals you’ve established. Additionally, your dog may learn poor behaviours from other dogs in the class, particularly if they’re demonstrating aggression toward your dog or creating excessive disruptions to the class.

Private lessons alleviate many of the downfalls of group classes, but they often come with a higher price tag as a trade-off for the dog trainer’s one-on-one attention. While the cost per lesson will likely be higher, your dog may progress more quickly as the techniques will be tailored to their particular needs. If you’re actively participating as your dog’s handler, you’ll likely benefit from the intimate setting by having the opportunity to ask questions and affirm your knowledge. After all, it’s equally important for you to learn, too.

Finally, in-board dog training can be challenging to find, but it’s a great solution for making real progress and behavioural changes, even if you’re working long hours or away on a trip for an extended period of time. While you may not have a lot of time to dedicate to dog training, keep in mind that you’ll still benefit from incorporating private lessons to ensure you understand how to give commands and maintain your dog’s behaviour after the initial in-board period.

LIFELONG LEARNING

Believe it or not, you can teach an old dog new tricks. With a professional dog trainer, you’ll be able to establish a strong base of obedience training and acceptable conduct. However, it doesn’t end there. If you’re fortunate enough to feel confident about your dog’s behaviour, it’s a great opportunity to push the boundaries. Working with your dog is a fun activity for you both, and in turn it will help keep your dog’s mind and body in tip-top shape. Consider participating in dog sports such as agility, obedience trials, or even protection sports. If you’re up for the challenge, you can work with a trainer to teach your dog new tricks that will delight your family and guests who may visit your home, encouraging positive interactions and a comfortable environment.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There are many factors to consider when it comes to finding the best dog trainer, including their preferred approach, costs, location, and compatibility with your dog’s needs. It’s worth dedicating time to research dog trainers in your area, then you can reach out to them directly to ask questions and get a feel for their specific abilities. At the end of the day, we understand how important your dog is in your life, and that’s why we recommend investing in professional dog training to ensure everyday will be the best it can be.

Trust the Superior Method.