You’ve determined that hiring a trainer for your pet would be beneficial, but how do you go about doing so? Unfortunately, choosing one based on an internet search and location alone is not enough. We’ve compiled a list of five important questions you ought to ask any prospective trainer in order to help you discover the best individual to assist you and your pet in achieving your training objectives.
1. CHOOSE THE KIND OF TRAINING IN WHICH YOU ARE INTERESTED.
What are your fitness objectives? Do you wish your pet to pick up new skills, learn basic commands, or possibly get rid of bad behavior? The answer to this query is a fantastic place to start your search for the ideal pet trainer. For the best outcomes, locate a trainer whose areas of expertise fit your training objectives because they frequently specialize in different areas of obedience. Additionally, this is a wonderful chance to find out more about their training procedures. A common training technique is positive reinforcement, in which dogs are rewarded for good conduct and undesirable behavior is redirected. However, this isn’t the only training strategy available.
2. QUESTION THEIR QUALIFICATIONS
Because the pet training industry is unregulated and anybody can enter the market, it is crucial that you do your research before selecting a trainer for your pet. Ask potential trainers about their experience in training and any certifications they may have before choosing one. Did they have official training, did they serve an apprenticeship, or did they learn on their own? Although none is strictly superior to the other, you might feel more at ease working with a self-taught trainer than one who has had official instruction. Consider evaluations or recommendations from previous customers most significant.
3. QUESTION THEM ABOUT ANY CONTINUING EDUCATION THEY PARTICIPATE IN.
Every year, the pet training industry undergoes changes and advancements, just like any other profession. Trainers might take courses or attend industry events to keep current on the most recent trends and methods. This dedication to lifelong learning and the use of innovative training techniques demonstrates their dedication to provide their customers the best services possible.
4. INQUIRE ABOUT THE TRAINING SETTING
Your pet might do better in one environment over another, depending on your training objectives. Trainers typically provide both group and private lesson options, but you should always ask about this before choosing one. Basic commands can be taught in a group lesson with ease, but dealing with more challenging behavior frequently necessitates one-on-one attention and a more deliberate training program.
5. SEEK PERMISSION TO OBSERVE A CLASS
Ask if you can watch a class if you wish to observe a trainer before making a choice. There is nothing like watching them perform their duties in real life, even after doing your research and meeting with the trainer. The more research you do and questions you ask before choosing a trainer, the more likely it is that you’ll find the best fit for your pet. After this, you should be able to more quickly assess whether they’re the proper trainer for your pet. Even if you feel like you’ve asked all the correct questions, and it still doesn’t feel like the right fit, it’s okay Because this experience will enable you to probe further in your future searches. Last but not least, your veterinarian is a fantastic resource if you’re having trouble finding a trainer; they should be able to offer recommendations for trainers in your region.
6. LOOK INTO VARIOUS TRAINING TECHNIQUES
Trainers employ a range of strategies and procedures. Although most of the methods “work” at altering behavior, not all of them are peaceful, kind, and humanitarian. Knowing which training techniques are ethical and efficient is crucial when picking a trainer. For instance, positive reinforcement training rewards the dog for good behavior. It is a productive, kind, and enjoyable method of training. Using positive reinforcement strategies, dogs may quickly (and cheerfully) learn everything from basic manners to masters-level agility.
Finding competent trainers who employ reward-based techniques is becoming simpler as positive reinforcement training spreads. “Lure and reward” and “clicker training,” two of the most well-liked positive training techniques, both use food as the main reinforcer and are quite successful.
We advise against using “conventional” or military-based training techniques that involve pinch or choke collars. Force is not required to train dogs; training can be carried out without correction-based methods. Additionally, we advise you to avoid any trainer who employs cruel techniques like striking, kicking, hanging, shocking, or any other action that could inflict pain or discomfort on a dog.
Pay close attention to the trainer’s response when you inquire about her training techniques. Some instructors who instruct using the more conventional correction-based approaches have started referring to themselves as “positive” instructors as positive reinforcement training has grown in popularity. Ask for a thorough explanation of how a trainer would teach a fundamental behavior like “Sit,” as well as how she would handle issues like a dog that is not listening, a dog that is acting up in class, or a dog that exhibits hostility, to learn exactly how a trainer operates.
The best thing to do is to request a seat in a regular beginner’s class, so you can observe to see if the trainer genuinely follows the tactics he describes.