Signs To Look For In A Good Dog Trainer
A good dog trainer is your best partner for helping your dog learn desired behavior to help him become a healthy, productive and happy member of your family. A dog trainer plays an important role in a dog’s life. Very often, he is one of the first persons the dog will interact and build a relationship with. He is also the one person who can help the dog learn to trust and follow a human. When it is time for your dog to undergo training, here are the most important signs to look for in a dog trainer:
Location and Tools
A good Rochester dog trainer should provide training in a safe area that is clean and secure. Most trainers work with several dogs at once (1 trainer to 6 dogs is a good ratio), so having a safe and sanitary learning area will be a great help. A good trainer should use tools that are safe and pet-friendly. If you see choke and prong collars, electronic gadgets meant to give a dog a “mild” shock to correct his behavior, and leashes that are meant to confine and produce an uncomfortable feeling on the dog, bring your pet elsewhere.
Dog trainers may use different methods to train dogs. Each dog may also have his own style, pace and source of learning motivation. However, many dog owners agree that easily one of the leading training techniques that work on dogs is reward-based training, the kind that allows dogs to associate a desired behavior with a reward, such as food, affection or a favorite toy. This type of training motivates dogs by helping them build an association between a certain command and something pleasant. As a result, they are more likely to follow the command. Watch out for a dog trainer who uses physical and/or verbal punishment to correct mistakes. Your dog might learn to fear and even hate the commands because of the pain and discomfort inflicted on him during training.
The one thing that separates dogs from humans is method of communication. Dogs simply will not and do not communicate as humans do. They may learn in time how to “read” and understand what a person wants through association with commands and getting used to the nuances of their human’s body language, but dogs will always have their own way of communicating. This is the one barrier that can make training a dog a bit of a challenge for the dog trainer, especially if the dog is a bit dominant or has already established certain habits and behavior patterns.
For these reasons, a good dog trainer must be patient. You do not need someone who loses his temper or becomes frustrated easily. Your dog could pick up on these patterns during training and it might have negative results later on. Look for someone who uses positive reinforcement, is kind but firm and consistent.
A good dog trainer offers a fun learning activity for his students, so observe the dogs in the class and how they behave. Are the dogs happy? Are they relaxed but alert? Are the dogs confident and participative? Be wary if the dogs appear timid, scared or hesitant and easily scared. In regular dog training classes, dogs from normal households should appear attentive. Unless the dog trainer is teaching a special class to abused or behaviorally problematic dogs, there is no reason why his students should be hesitant or fearful.
A dog trainer does not need a license to train dogs but he does need a certification as proof of his abilities, knowledge and background. This will help you when you need to determine if you can trust the trainer. A good dog trainer understands that he has to undergo continuing education to keep his knowledge and training methods updated and relevant. Look for someone who has a dog training certification, such as the Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge & Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA). Ask about the trainer’s certification and check it. The certifying body must be an independent third party and not just the school that trained the trainer. Your pet will have better chances of training success if he is in good, capable hands.