What should you look for when searching for a trainer?
Firstly, understand that dog training is an unregulated business. While you need to become licensed to become a hairdresser or day-care provider, you do not have to have any professional certification, license nor documented experience to work with someone's dog.
here are a few things to consider
*Excellent trainers understand that there is always more to learn- so you should ask about continuing education whether through seminars , classes, or webinars, general reading.
Ask if the trainer is certified and through what organization. While good trainers don't have to be certified, it is a recognition of a standard of knowledge.
* How experienced is the trainer? And does their knowledge extend into the areas you are seeking help with ? Someone who teaches general obedience may not have the knowledge or experience if you are actually looking for help because your dog has bitten someone.
* Training is about communication and teaching styles vary - understand fully before you pass a trainer your dog's leash how that trainer achieves results. If you are considering a group class, ask if you can audit a current class. Observe not only the trainer's ability to engage and teach, but how the people and dogs respond.
If you are considering individual training sessions, do you feel comfortable with the trainer; does your dog look like they are enjoying the experience, or are they looking to be someplace else?
* What type of training equipment does the trainer recommend - and are you comfortable with these tool choices? A trainer who fits your dog for a prong collar is very likely to train quite differently than one who adjusts a front-clip harness on the dog.
* Ask about the trainer's experience working with dogs - different breeds, behavioral issues, age and temperament. Family dog training is different than training your dog to herd ducks.
* Observe how your dog responds - does the dog look like they are enjoying the interaction or does the dog appear to want to be someplace else?
Above all, you must feel comfortable with the trainer you have chosen. You make this choice for your dog. Your dog does not. Training really should be a fluid two-sided conversation between the teacher and the student, with both respecting and listening to each other.