Picking a method of training for your puppy or dog can be a big decision. There are hundreds of different ways to train a dog and even more trainers. How do you find the right one? Below’s a few questions to ask yourself when deciding:
Are you wanting to train the dog yourself or send off to a trainer?
If you are wanting to train the dog yourself, make sure you are consistent and have help from a pro. If you are wanting to send off your puppy for training, make sure you can see the dog often during training and you aren’t required to leave the dog for months at a time (for basic obedience). I always tell people 10% of my efforts will go towards the dog and 90% goes towards the owner. That’s why we require owners come visit their dog at least twice in the month for “owner training.” Unfortunately, dog training isn’t like going to a mechanic, where they just fix the problem and then it’s good to go. Dog training takes time and patience. They need rules and structure just like kids.
Does the facility or trainer have reviews listed on Facebook or google?
A local trainer recently made news for not taking care of dogs. This trainer didn’t allow reviews on his Facebook page. This is a HUGE RED FLAG. It’s possible they might have a good reason for this policy. But if I had to bet it is more likely than not because they don’t want others seeing complaints and their prior customers’ bad reviews.
What kind of methods does the trainer use?
100% positive reinforcement, shock collars, treats, etc? I’m not going into these methods and why some work and some don’t because that’s a whole other blog post in itself. Just be weary of different methods. Do you want to depend on electronics or treats? Or would you rather build trust & a relationship with your dog?
At Southern Pro, we don’t train with shock collars or treats. We train by speaking the dog’s language & teaching owners how to communicate with their dog.
Can you see the trainers dogs?
If the trainer can’t show you their “end result” then that is another huge red flag. If the trainer’s dog lacks basic skills and doesn’t impress you, then how can you trust them to train your dog?
Always make sure you can see where the dog will be staying. Will your dog be housed outside in the elements? Who will be watching your dog at night? If there’s a fire or break-in, how long will it take the trainer to respond? At Southern Pro, we live onsite but there aren’t many trainers that can say the same.
Be sure to ask the trainer how much time your dog will get worked on a daily basis.
Also, ask whether you can call the trainer with questions after you pick your dog up or will they charge you extra for this.
Southern Pro might not be a perfect fit for everyone. And that’s fine. We want what’s best for your dog. We are more than happy to recommend other trusted trainers who might be a better fit for you. If you have any other questions about trainers or how to pick one, please feel free to shoot Haley an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call.