First ask yourself what you want your dog to learn?
Is your dog an extreme case? If your dog is an extreme case then sit, stay, come or heel is not the first things you need to learn. Some trainers don’t do rehabilitation, some don’t do behavioural modification and some trainers do both. All behaviourist are dog trainers but not all trainers are behaviourists and this is very important to know! Choose the right trainer for the right job!
Second choose your philosophy, ethics and abilities.
For example some people are apposed to choke chains, pinch collars or electric shock collars. I do not choose to use these myself on a regular basis but in some extreme cases these tools may be needed but if your not comfortable with either of these then you need to be vocal so we can use many of the other options, and there are hundreds to choose from. If you are comfortable using these collars its highly important to use them correctly because I guarantee if not used right your dog will have a bad experience. This is an important decision when choosing a trainer because if the trainer does not support your ethics and values then this trainer is not right for you because only you have to live with your dog on a daily basis so owners and trainers need to be on the same page at all times.
Thirdly Get referrals.
This may sound obvious but no matter where you find a trainer on the internet, out of a phone book or from a friend, you need to do your due diligence. Ask for references to call; and call!! These past clients can answer all your questions such as: did they come for training on time? Did they validate and support your concerns? Did you reach your training goals? Did they have follow through? Most importantly would you use them again?
Lastly make sure the trainer includes you in the training process.
There is nothing wrong with asking your trainer ANY questions. There is no such thing as a stupid question, the only stupid question is the one not asked. You need to tell your trainer your comfort zone and abilities so they can help the best they can, example if you feel you are the cause of some of your dogs bad behaviour as your trainer if they have an ” inhouse ” training program where you can drop the dog off to learn new behaviours. I do this myself sometimes and offer clients our Bootcamp training where the dog comes and stays with us for a determined amount of time to give both parties a break. I make it very clear that I don’t fix BROKEN DOGS, I work closely with the owners on identifying their own issues and behaviours so that they the owners can change as much as their dogs changes.
We here at Rrruffhouse only believe in positive reinforcement training with repetition and consistency. We here work as a team with you designing the perfect training plan to suit your needs and you are an asset in that; as we do not have cookie cutter training plans, we build training lessons that everyone can get excited about. We encourage you to call past or current clients to get feed back so you know you have picked us for the right reasons, our clients love helping new dogs and dog owners learn what they have learned from us. Our motto is ” if you don’t quit, we wont quit ” we are with you every step of the way!