5 things to consider before hiring a dog trainer

EricBefore You Get A Puppy, Raising a Puppy, TipsLeave a Comment

Sit, Dog, Sit. What Method of Training Works Best?

So, you have a new puppy. Or maybe you know the old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is a load of farce, and you’re ready to train some better behaviours. And if you’ve ever searched the web for dog training styles or asked for opinions on social media, you know that there is a ton of disagreement around which method reigns supreme. Positive reinforcement folks are adamant that you don’t need corrections to teach a dog, while the Alpha folks believe wholeheartedly in the hierarchy of the pack. So, which style of training really does work best? Here at Paws Dog Daycare, we think the answer is the same as it is for most things in life: it depends.

Evaluate Your Style

The biggest indicator of a training method’s effectiveness is how consistent you’ll be with it. Think about your natural tendencies – do you gravitate toward praise and positive reinforcement, or do you take on a more authoritarian approach? Pick a trainer and a style that suits your personality.

Evaluate Your Dog

What’s your dog’s natural disposition? Is he eager to please or a bit more stubborn? What motivates him? What could he care less about? It’s hard to treat train if your pooch isn’t inspired by food, for example. Figure out your dog’s currency, and formulate your training approach around it.

It’s Not All or Nothing

There’s nothing wrong with blending your methods, and it definitely doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If it feels right to correct bad behaviour and reward positive behaviour, that’s perfectly fine! As mentioned above, what really matters is consistency – so don’t agree to an approach that you can’t keep up with. And don’t be afraid to adjust as you go if what you’re doing isn’t getting you any results!

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Meet the Trainer

And the trainer’s dogs. Are they happy, well-adjusted, and obedient? Do they act fearful or skittish? How does the trainer interact with them? What feeling do you get when you’re around them? Don’t underestimate your gut instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t – and that is often an indicator of how good a training method is, too. Also, if you are going to enlist the help of an expert (something we recommend!), don’t forget to ask for their credentials!

Bring in an Expert

If you have an aggressive or overly stubborn canine, or if you just want some clear guidance on how to get the outcome you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to hire a professional. Pick one that involves you in the entire process, teaches you how to continue training at home, and is available for support and follow up questions. Also look for certifications and flexibility – do they have enough tools to customize their approach to your needs and comfort level? There are a lot of trainers around, so shop until you find one that you jive with! It just may be the most important and valuable investment you make in your dog.

We offer a variety of training at PAWS Dog Daycare as well, so feel free to send us a message to find out how we can help!

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