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How To Find The Right Trainer For You
With all of the available trainers out there finding the right one for you can be confusing. Top that off with no state certification or licensing and things get even tougher. Here are a few tips to help you know what is important in a trainer.
When you first call a trainer or training school the conversation needs to be a two way street. Expect the trainer will ask you questions about your dog and your expectations. This is how they determine what training level or class is best for you. Then it is your turn. Ask questions. Make sure this will be the right fit for you and your dog. You might even want to have a list of questions in front of you to make sure you do not forget anything.
What success does the trainer and their students have in the ring? You might say "I don't care about showing. I just want a well behaved family member" That is what most people are looking for but a trainer that has the ability to train dog and handler teams to compete in the ring with a variety of distractions while dealing with the owners nerves and in new locations is a trainer that is training dogs way beyond the basics of a well behaved family member. Competition trainers need to train the basics first before going on to the competition skills. Basics are the building blocks to a competition team. You should want a trainer that has mastered the basics with their own dogs and with their students and can go beyond that so they can trouble shoot any problem you may have.
Even more importantly is what have their students done with their dogs. If you are looking for a competition trainer you need to know they are producing winners! It is always nice to see a trainer has done well with their own dogs but what can they do for you?! Their personal accomplishments show they are involved and that they will be aware of new trends in the dog world. The success of their students will show you how well the information is passed from trainer to student. If the students are successful in the ring or in trying to get through a Therapy Dog test it shows the trainer can train others, not just their own dogs! A trainer with successful competition students means success for you too!
Does the trainer have a facility for training? A location for group classes or quiet private lessons. Having a facility to train means space restrictions and weather will not disrupt your progress. Is the floor skid proof to protect your dog from falling. Is it safe enough for your dog to learn how to jump on it? Having the ability to help you train in both a real life setting and in a quality facility is important to getting a well trained dog.
Ask the trainer what breeds of dogs they have owned and worked with. Do they have experience with just a breed or two or do they have experience with all dogs big and small. Do they have experience with powerful breeds? Have they trained a Toy dog? Each breed was bred for a job and most of them, (even the rescues) hold onto some of the instincts needed for those jobs. You should look for a trainer who understands how to train all types of dogs with any variety of instincts.
Training your dog builds a bond between you and your dog. Once you choose the right trainer for you go enjoy the process. Training is fun!