Sometimes situations arise with puppies and adult dogs where the owner doesn’t know what to do about something pretty important. Perhaps their large year-old dog insists on jumping up on everyone it meets when taken for walks. Perhaps house-training hasn’t worked sufficiently yet. Perhaps the puppy is nipping constantly at the children. You name it, there are so many possible challenges.
Often the first step is to gather information: read a book, watch a DVD, go online to dog forums ( Dogforums.com is one) and websites like this one. Quite often the owner solves the problem by taking action on the information gleaned. And it works.
But many other times, the best choice is really to get the help of a good trainer.
Not just any trainer, of course, but a good one: a caring and knowledgeable person who uses up-to-date methods like clicker training or other pain-free approaches.
People may procrastinate on doing this for a variety of reasons: they keep hoping the dog’s behavior problem will take care of itself. They don’t know how to find a trainer or to evaluate any they hear of. The cost can be daunting or seem impossible. They may be very busy or even overwhelmed with the rest of their life — say, three kids under age 5, or a demanding 60+ hour work week.
But if you do get a good dog trainer, you’ll have someone who can make a huge difference. You’ll have someone on your team, a resource to be turned to time and again if needed. Just knowing you can have them work with your dog again later if needed may give you the oomph to take care of other problems on your own. If you want to take your own process of dog training to a higher level, they can be an invaluable resource.
How do you find a good dog trainer?
Here are several things you can do to start. Be sure and ask about the approach to dog training used by anyone you consider.
- Go to the dog trainer search page of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.
- Ask your veterinarian
- Look in the yellow page
- Use local search on Google
- Check bulletin boards for dog training classes.