Did you know anyone can get a two-week dog training certification online? Anyone can publish. That means a certification itself may not be valid. As of right now, there are no specific regulations, for being called a dog trainer. Even the title CPDT-KA from the APDT doesn’t require someone to train a dog before being certified. What is certified? It means “official”. How does someone become official? Because of an authority, but who’s the authority? Is it easy to observe their work? Does science have preeminence over Personal Agenda? Think of a police officer. He should represent more than a badge and a squad car, right? And so a pro dog trainer should be more than a sheet of paper and e-collar.
Back to examining the trainers’ work! Can you at least see an example of how they trained a dog during a session, or is it the scenario which you only see the end result? Some dog owners don’t read their dog’s body language signals. How would they know the difference? Don’t risk inhumane training behind closed doors from a hack trainer. Why else would a trainer hide their work? Who knows! Scared to reveal the secret sauce?
- Is there a secure website or did they simply Google their business? Does the site offer value or is it just a list of services?
- Did they list a business address? It’s nice to know they won’t disappear. There’s already enough Businesses listed as permanently closed.
- Do they have a niche site? Are they specialized to dog training or is it a name like “Joyful Critters” and could be a daycare, rescue, or Vet Clinic? Thousands of businesses add and remove services daily. It’s one thing to be a dog behaviorist and offer play time, and quite another to be a dog walker and claim to be in aggression expert a year later.
- What are the people saying? I don’t need everyone saying “Carlos is the best dog trainer in the world”, however I guarantee you’ll have an amazingly trained dog from my services. Unfortunately, we retrain many dogs that have already been through long board and train programs that have little to show.
- What are the dogs sayings? So what… The dog responds to the handler, but is it because of a correction or a reward (doesn’t have to be food), and rather the E-collar is merely the result of polished Training? There is a difference.
Your financial situation, you don’t really think those multi-session packages for a chunk of change will leave you happy for a long do you? I promise the trainers are not giving away charity. On the other end you have companies that charge near $2,000 a week just to blast your dog with an e-collar. You should at least expect to invest around $1,000 a week for a good board and train. Use this as a motivator to continue your dogs management plan.
There will be a management plan. Can you hold your dog accountable? It’s natural to call your dog trainer when there’s a problem (and we do love you) but, is it something you can troubleshoot from a checklist? I ask this as an ethical trainer but also, you are the one your dog relies on. You have the keys to the kingdom! So, how about it? Will there be structure? Who will control resources? Will your dog get exercise, chews, a chance to be a dog everyday (detach)? Will affection be meaningful or routine?
Are you ready to learn mechanical skills? Sounds funny but plenty of employee Dog Handlers exist who choose improper technique even after their training. I know you can hold the leash with two hands, right? Can you be ready to reward or correct with proper timing? I know you can! Do you believe in yourself? I’m confident your answer is yes.
Let’s wrap this up! I know I can get a little exhaustive but I want you to be knowledgeable and confident with the person who trains your animal friend. It’s common these days for someone to say they’ve already went through three or four dog trainers. Instead, save your time and money and do it right the first time!