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What to Ask a Potential Dog Trainer

Sunday, September 19, 2021
posted by Jim Murphy

When looking for a trainer for your new best friend, there are essential questions that you should ask. The American Kennel Club as put together some suggestions as you start this process.

Ask a potential trainer about her education and any credentials she may have. Some wonderful trainers have learned through apprenticeships and years of experience, whereas others have taken a more academic route in building their skills. Certification with an organization like the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers is not mandatory for trainers, but it shows dedication to the profession and an interest in continuing education. To learn more about the different types of trainer certifications, check out this guide from The Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Speak with the trainer to get a feel for her personality and people skills before making a decision. It’s not enough to read the brochure or website. In truth, dog trainers teach people, so you need to feel comfortable being her student. Look for someone who uses the same positive reinforcement with her human pupils that she uses with the dogs. She should be patient, encouraging, and respectful. Try to observe a training class, and watch the dogs and students as much as the trainer to ensure they are all enjoying themselves. In addition, ask for references from former students.

Remember, pets are family!

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