How to Pick a Dog Trainer

Selecting a dog training program is an important decision that you make on behalf of your dog. The benefits of a good choice include an improved bond and increased obedience. The drawbacks of making a poor choice include frustration and lost time and money.


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    First identify what your training needs are. Some people train proactively, getting their dog involved in training before a problem emerges. Others want to teach their dog advanced tricks. And there are plenty of us who first look to training when our dog starts having behavior issues.
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    Identify your short and long term goals. Do you want a dog that knows basic obedience? Agility? To fix one specific problem? Your training selection should be based in part on your goals. Make sure that the training program can both solve your problem and leave you feeling satisfied.
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    Identify what you want in a trainer. Do you want someone who emphasizes positive training? Someone with experience? Someone who specializes in aggression? Pick the personality of the trainer that you'd like and make sure to not sign up with anyone who makes you uncomfortable.
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    Consider your dog's personality. Is he stubborn? Easy to frighten? Knowing his temperament can help you pick out the right person.
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    Consider training your dog yourself. There's no one he likes better, plus the process will not only improve your bond but it will also improve your status as the dog's leader.
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    If hiring a professional or enrolling in a class, try to check out the class ahead of time. See how the trainer interacts with the students and their dogs. Make sure it's the kind of interaction you like.
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    Select your trainer and make arrangements to begin training. Make sure you have the training equipment you need. Stick to the plan.


  • Get the necessary training items before beginning the lessons (long leash, short leash, etc.)
  • Bear in mind that whether you hire a professional or enroll in a class the key to training success is YOU. You have to invest the time and effort in order to become your dog's leader.
  • Find out about refund policies.

Note that training a dog could be expensive depending on your budget.


  • Trust your gut whenever you're uncomfortable with anything a trainer is doing. Nearly all trainers are good and kind, but even a kind person can come up with a bad idea. If something the trainer is doing bothers you, speak up.

Article Info

Categories: Dog Obedience