HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT PET TRAINER


Look For a Trainer Who Offers What You Want

That may seem obvious. You want someone to help you train your dog – right? But different trainers have different skills and offer a variety of services. To really narrow down your specific needs and wants, ask yourself:

  • Do I want a group class or individual training? Each has its benefits. For someone with a new puppy, a class offers essential opportunities for socialization. Plus, classes are less expensive than individual training. With individual training, however, you’re more likely to get personalized attention and have your specific needs addressed.

  • Am I looking for general training or do I need help with a specific problem? If you are dealing with a behavior problem such as barking, separation anxiety or aggression, you may want to look for a trainer or behaviorist with experience in that area.

  • Am I primarily looking for short-term training opportunities to help my dog become a happy member of my family, or do I have specific long-term goals such as obedience or agility competition? Some of us look for training classes because we love dog sports and hanging out with people who are as crazy about their dogs as we are. [1]

Try Before You Buy

We suggest researching 3–5 trainers in your area before choosing one. Try to attend a class as an observer to make sure you like their training style, and don’t hesitate to switch trainers if the first one you choose isn’t working for you and your pup. As the pet parent, the call of who trains your dog (and how they do it) is up to you! [2]


Ask About Their Qualifications

Pet training is an unregulated industry, which means anyone can enter the market – this makes it even more important to do your research before you choose a trainer for your pet. Before you pick a trainer, ask them about their training background and any credentials they have. Were they formally trained, did they learn through an apprenticeship, or were they self-taught? One is not necessarily better than the other, but you may be more comfortable with a trainer with formal training versus a self-taught trainer or vice versa. Most importantly, take a look at recommendations or reviews from past clients. [3]