Finding a reputable, professional puppy trainer in your area can be a daunting task. There are SO many options, methodologies, program durations… how do you choose the right puppy trainer near you? With the right research and some helpful advice from experienced dog professionals and other pet owners, you can successfully find the perfect puppy training program to suit your pup’s needs.
Do Your Research.
Before investing in a puppy training program, do your research. Look for reputable trainers in your area and read customer reviews (Google, Yelp, Facebook, and otherwise!) to make sure you are selecting the best professional for your pup. It is also beneficial to connect with other pet owners who have had positive experiences with local pet trainers to gather referrals and more information about how their training programs are run, and the overall results achieved. Reading reviews and reaching out to references provided by the trainer can help get an in-depth view of the training process. Make sure to ask questions such as, “How long did it take for them to show improvement?” and “Was communication with the trainer easy?” Pay attention for any red flags that may be brought up in reviews or conversations, but keep in mind many people only post reviews if they’ve had an unpleasant experience… so don’t let one or two subpar reviews make the ultimate decision for you. If the overwhelming feedback is positive, a few sour grapes shouldn’t be your deciding factor.
Look for Qualifications and Education.
The most important characteristic to look for in a puppy trainer is their qualifications and education. We believe nothing shows off a dog trainers experience like their own dogs’ scorebooks… meaning, being judged by a nonbiased third party in a dog sport, and doing well! If a professional dog trainer is consistently putting up high scores in canine sports, such as competition obedience, rally obedience, ringsports, or otherwise, they probably know a thing or two about utilizing positive reinforcement, balancing rewards and corrections, and getting precise obedience skills under distraction! Consider if they have any other professional background in veterinary science or animal behavior, as well as if they have ever studied with any renowned master dog trainers previously. Dog trainers should regularly attend dog training seminars, dog behavior workshops, and other educational opportunities to continue honing their skills and learning the most up-to-date dog training techniques out there.
Understand Different Types of Training Available.
Knowing the types of training available is important for helping puppy owners decide which style will suit their pup best. There are various types of training programs available such as boarding and training, dog daycare training, private dog training, group puppy training classes, and more. Research each type to determine which one works best for you and your puppy’s needs. Some require heavy owner commitment throughout the duration of the puppy training program, while others have a professional puppy trainer do the repetitions for you, and then they show you how to keep the skills sharp. A good puppy training company should be able to go over the pros and cons of each style of puppy training, and help you decide which works best for you.
We hope this guide helps you make the best decision regarding puppy training! If you would like to talk about what Dog Dynamix’s Perfect Puppy Program or Puppy Kindergarten can do for you and your puppy, please reach out.