Hire Personalized Help for General Training Needs

Choosing a Dog Trainer

The same advice for finding an obedience class also relates to finding a quality trainer. Anyone can claim to be a dog or cat trainer, so as questions like the following if you’re thinking about hiring someone

How were you trained?

Look for someone who has had life experience and has spent time around animals, not just taken classes. If the person has trained different types of animals, even better. Ask about formal training, but keep in mind that many good trainers are self-taught through experience. The best trainers keep themselves well-informed about new training methods and theories.

How much experience do you have?

The trainer should have at least six months of experience. Anything less and the person may not know how to work with problem behavior in a calm, confident manner. Animals can sense a lack of confidence, and the training will be less successful as a result.

What types of animals have you trained?

Some trainers work with a variety of animals and some only work with one type. It’s most desirable for the trainer to have had experience working with a wide variety of animals, since you learn something different from training each type of animal.

Are you certified through a national certification program?

This applies mainly to dog trainers since there are no national certification programs for those who train cats, rabbits and other types of pets.

You might also want to visit during one of the trainer’s sessions to see the style, techniques and tools being used. If the trainer does anything that you are uncomfortable with, keep looking. You want to find a trainer who uses humane training methods, someone who will give you and your pet a positive experience. If you are told by a trainer that he or she is not qualified for your case, ask for a referral to a behavior counselor or animal behaviorist.

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers

The Association of Professional Dog Trainers is the world's largest dog training community. Their website can help you find a certified trainer near you. Simply click on "Trainer Search." then enter your zip code and the mile radius you’re willing to search in. Be sure to check the box for “Certified Trainers Only.”

Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers mission is to establish and maintain humane standards of competence for dog training and behavior professionals through criteria based on experience, standardized testing, skills, and continuing education.

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants' mission is to elevate the standard of animal behavior consulting worldwide.

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior unites veterinarians and research professionals who share an interest in both understanding animal behavior and treating behavior problems that affect the welfare of animals and the people who care for them.

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