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What Should I Look for In a Dog Trainer?

As dog trainers and lovers, we are often approached for advice on any number of animal husbandry matters. Training and behavioural issues are some of the most common questions we receive. While we offer our own in-house training programmes, they may not be practical for everyone given where we are based. Here are some tips suggesting what you should look for if you are seeking a dog trainer in your local area:

1. Ask what qualifications and experience your trainer has. The dog training industry is currently unregulated, so anybody can set up a training business without credentials. This is dangerous and irresponsible. Unqualified and inexperienced “trainers” often do far more damage than good, so you owe it to your dog to find them a trainer who knows what they are doing

2. Ask how they approach their training. Ultimately, you own the dog you are sending them and will need to work and live with it on its return. Since the rise of certain popular TV shows, trainers have attempted to mimic the methods they see with mixed success. You need to find a trainer whose methods you approve of, and will be happy to implement with your own dog. In our experience, positive associative training yields the best results

3. Ask the trainer about their own dogs. Ideally, they should own and have a history of ownership with working dogs. Working dogs have unique demands that go above and beyond that of an ordinary pet, so can be viewed as a true test of a trainer’s skill. If they only work with pets on a basic level, then they may not be able to properly diagnose and respond to more challenging behaviours