A dog training school doesn’t have to be award-winning to be good, but there are a few things that a dog owner should look for before they decide on a winner.
The wrong training school will not only waste money, it can also potentially instill poor behavior in a still impressionable dog. Aside from verifying the place uses humane training methods and rewards, owners should look for the following five qualities so they end up with the results they want.
Read Reviews of the Training School
Testimonials on the trainer’s website aren’t likely to give a potential customer very much to go off of, but a list of reviews from an independent website will give dog owners an idea of what the dog trainer is like. If an owner comes up against a brand-new trainer, they can ask for references from the trainer’s family or friends. When checking references, ask plenty of probing questions to get a sense of how the trainer’s techniques worked for each pet and what skills they specialize in—such as stopping dogs from jumping. Just like checking reviews for the best dog hip & joint supplements, if the references can’t answer these questions, it’s likely they’re just trying to help out their loved one.
Ask to See the Trainer’s Credentials
Credentials aren’t just a piece of paper but a way for a trainer to show that they’ve gone the extra mile in their career. Passionate trainers won’t be content unless they’ve studied different techniques and experimented on their own to find a personal style. While it’s not absolute proof that the trainer takes their job seriously, it’s a strong sign to owners that the trainer isn’t just trying to make a quick buck.
Learn About the Trainer’s Vaccination Policy
If the trainer doesn’t ask for proof of vaccination from their clients, they could potentially expose animals to deadly diseases. This is an especially important piece of advice for puppies. Like small children, young dogs will have a difficult time fending off common illnesses than older dogs will. The best trainers will ensure that all the dog’s shots are fully documented and up to date. They’re one of the most important ways to protect a dog’s long-term health.
Ask About the School’s Core Curriculum
Some dog trainers are happy to let a person sit in on one of their classes so long as they don’t interfere with the integrity of the lesson. This is one of the best ways for owners to learn what is emphasized in class, so they can decide if it matches up with what they’re looking for. Dog and puppy training can include puppy potty training to leash and walk training. If the trainer is spending a lot of time on leash commands when an owner is looking for better chew management, then they may want to look for a different class.
Learn About Owner Assistance Support and Policies
A dog trainer can only do so much with a dog that isn’t theirs. Ultimately, the owner is going to have to step into the spotlight at some point—whether it’s with dog clicker training or another training tool—and they may not always be comfortable with their new role. Dog trainers who offer one-on-one lessons can help an owner feel fully supported as they adjust to their responsibilities. Not only will this reinforce the right behaviors for the dog, it can also increase an owner’s confidence and control when they’re on their own.
A good dog or puppy training school can be an extremely effective way for owners to maintain their dog if they’re having trouble doing it alone. It saves an owner the time of introducing commands and tricks and performing them over and over again until the dog has mastered it. The classes can be the key to developing the best possible relationship between owner and pet.