How to find a good trainer for you and your dog

Finding a good dog trainer can be a bit of a lottery unless you know where to look. There are some brilliant people out there doing excellent work to help families and their dogs to enjoy life together. Sadly there are still those who are out of date with their knowledge and talk about dominance and being a pack leader. They use unkind and unpleasant techniques which can often worsen the problem behaviour.

They are wrong, they cause unnecessary suffering to dogs and their families.

Vets and personal recommendations can be useful sources of information but my Google analytics tell me that most people look for a ‘dog trainer near me’. So how do you choose the right one?

Google and Facebook can be your friends. They give you access to the language the trainer uses to talk about their work e.g. reward, positive reinforcement, trust, relationship and so on. If you browse their background it should tell you something about their professional development and qualifications. Reviews can be useful, but as we all know they can be manufactured.

Dog training is strewn with acronyms, some hard-earned and some simply paid for. Usefully the Animal Behaviour & Training Council lists accredited organisations who regularly assess and monitor their members’ skills and CPD.

You could give the trainer a call to help get a feel for how they work, whether they sound genuinely interested in your dog and helping you.

Some time spent on research and getting the right trainer is well worth it, for you and your dog.