How to Find the Best Dog Trainer for Your Needs What Are the Traits of an Effective Gog Trainer?
A German Shepherd in the state of California was killed by a trainer who believed she was doing the dog a favor. Her techniques consisted of restraining the dog for an hour while she poked him and barked in his ear. She also barked in his ear. After some time, the young dog passed away at the veterinarian’s office from both physical and emotional stress. The session was interrupted by the owner’s protests, but they were assured that it had been successful with other dogs. How are you going to find out who will be working for you?
To call oneself a dog trainer does not require any sort of certification or license. There is no oversight of the business by either the state or the federal government. There is no organization that verifies the content taught at schools for dog trainers to ensure that it is correct and sufficient on a regular basis.
In many respects, becoming a dog trainer is analogous to the traditional method of learning a trade as an apprentice. However, in today’s world, the majority of professions, such as barbers, plumbers, electricians, and contractors, among others, have standardized educational requirements and mandate professional licensing.
Even though there is no universally accepted benchmark for the dog training industry, there are a number of different certifications that can be added to a dog trainer’s name.
- NADOI — National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors.
- IACP — International Association of Canine Professionals.
- CPDT — Certified Pet Dog Trainer (Association of Pet Dog Trainers)
- IAABC — International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
A trainer might also mention that they have a certificate from a school that specializes in canine behavior and training. However, it is nothing more than a piece of paper stating that you have completed a course at that particular institution that has not been accredited by any other organization. In a field that takes many years to master (to get to the point where you know what you don’t know), these programs are typically only a few months long.
The title of “Animal Behaviorist” is only given to individuals who have earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in animal behavior or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree with a concentration in behavior. Without those academic degrees, a “behaviorist” cannot be accredited, licensed, or appointed by anyone other than themselves.
When looking to hire a trainer, you should take into consideration their character, the education they have (ask them how they became a dog trainer), and the professional affiliations they have. Look for someone who stays current in the field by participating in events such as conferences and workshops. Make sure they have experience working with pet dogs and the people who own them; titles earned with their dogs at shows are nice, but they don’t mean the trainer knows how to deal with the problems you’re having.
Stop whatever it is that they are doing to your dog or asking you to do if you ever feel uneasy about it. This is the most important thing. Spend some time learning about the topic through investigation. It is not difficult to access the internet and conduct research on anything, including dog training methods and schools. Choose based on the information you have.