Some dogs seem to learn manners and socialize beautifully with minimal human intervention. Many others, however, require more structured learning to successfully navigate the world around them.
For this reason, every dog lover will likely need a dog trainer at some point in their dog guardianship journey. Today, we’ll tackle the common question of how to choose a dog trainer to steer you and your dog in the right direction.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late
Most of the time, pet parents look to trainers and behavior consultants when an issue arises. Often, dog owners wait too long to seek professional guidance. By the time they do, they are desperate for help. Unfortunately, desperate times can lead dog parents to the wrong trainer because any trainer that offers them a solution will seem good enough.
Instead, we encourage pet parents to be proactive in their search for a dog trainer or behavior consultant. For new puppies and recently adopted pets, start your search before your new addition comes home. For ongoing or escalating concerns, don’t wait until you feel that you are out of options. Call on a professional for help when you first notice the behavior. Because behaviors like separation anxiety, reactivity, aggression, etc. can quickly become serious and even dangerous, don’t wait until someone gets hurt to intervene.
Determine Your Needs
Families with new puppies or recently adopted dogs can consider group classes that teach dogs manners and general skills including socialization. Keep in mind, that the methodology for group classes matters. It’s just as important as the methodology for individual behavior modification, especially when dogs are new to formal training. To avoid trauma, we encourage finding a positive-based trainer and/or Fear-Free Certified behavior consultant that offers group classes near you.
When it comes to behavior modification for concerns like separation anxiety, leash reactivity, resource guarding, and more, it’s recommended that you find a dog trainer that specializes in modifying these behaviors. Even if the trainer is out of your area, virtual consultations with a specialized dog trainer that has proven strategies will lead to more effective training than working with a trainer that takes on any and all behavior concerns. Plus, working with a dog trainer that specializes in working with your dog’s challenges virtually can oftentimes lead to knowledge and resources that may not exist in your area.
Don’t Skimp on Quality
Dog training costs money; it’s a cost of dog guardianship just like food, dog walking, and veterinary care. When choosing a dog trainer, focus on quality over cost. While you may find a cheap dog training option, you may regret it later if you’re not comfortable with the trainer’s methodology and/or don’t connect with them on a human level. When starting your search, we recommend the above-linked websites that allow you to search for a dog trainer near you. You can also search the internet for your main concern to find a virtual trainer with your needed specialty.
If you’ve got your heart set on a local dog trainer or otherwise need help on how to choose a dog trainer, we are happy to lend a hand. We know a number of excellent Shoreline CT dog trainers that are just a phone call away. Email us your concerns and we will be happy to refer you to one of our trusted Shoreline CT pet business partners.