When Choosing a Dog Trainer, Do Your Homework

Any Effort You Put into Choosing a Dog Trainer Will Pay Off With Better Results

love dog word cloud gradient blue sky background only

At Tropical Dog Training, we have high regard for other trainers who love and respect dogs the way we do, people who care about animals and get the education, training and experience they need to deliver results. But sadly, there are a lot of people who call themselves dog trainers who do more damage than good. So whether you pick us when choosing a dog trainer or someone else, we want to help you make the best decision for you and your pet.

It is an unfortunate fact of the dog training industry that there are no licenses required and no governing body that upholds minimum standards and regulates who can call themselves dog trainers. That makes it imperative for owners to do their homework when it comes to picking someone who will have a great deal of impact on you, your pet and the relationship you have.

That boils down to asking a lot of questions and checking the answers. Since this is an industry that does not require a license, trainers who say they are licensed are, perhaps unintentionally, being misleading. It likely means they have a franchise or operating license, not a dog training license.

Some things you’ll want to ask any potential dog trainer:

  • Are you certified? And if so, by whom?
    When you have this information, you must still check the certifying body to make sure it’s not a fly-by-night operation but a genuine organization aimed at improving the dog training industry. You’ll want to know how long they’ve been in existence, for instance, and what the criteria are for being certified.
  • What type of training have you received and do you have any academic background in dog training or animal behavior?
    Again, make sure these are legitimate, accredited organizations/schools with a history in the industry.
  • How long have you been training and can you give references?
    You’ll want a dog trainer with experience, someone who will happily give you references from satisfied clients.
  • What method is used to enforce a command if the dog refuses to comply?
    The trainer should be able to respond without hesitation. Think to yourself will this work? When will it work? A rule is not a rule if it cannot be enforced!

Does the cost include all the lessons that will be required to train my dog? Most dog trainers will quote a price for a certain number of lessons when those lessons are complete they will attempt to sell you additional lessons.Once you have the facts, do a gut check. Is this someone who respects animals and is compassionate? Do you feel comfortable talking to them?

There are many things to consider, so for a more comprehensive look at how to choose a dog trainer, please see: “Guidelines for Choosing a Dog Trainer or Behavior Consultant.”

Call us today to talk about our training methods or to let us answer any questions you may have about dog training in general.