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paw print Cerftified Dog Trainer or Do It Yourself?

Choosing a certified trainer to train your newly adopted dog might cost you a couple hundred dollars or more. Remember, just because they’re a certified trainer it doesn’t mean that they’re good. Choosing the right trainer could be a tricky task but the key for finding the right trainer is asking lots of questions.

What are your teaching credentials?
What’s your method of correction? If force or smacking a dog is their answer try another dog trainer. It’s obvious this person has no clue what he or she is doing.
Do you have references? He or she should give you at least 3 references.
What training equipment do you recommend? The correct answer should be easy and simple, a training collar, and leash. No more, no less.

If you choose a class with a certified trainer observe that trainers teaching methods before enrolling. Look for:

An indication that the instructor actually likes dogs and people.
The method used for basic commands (sit, shake). Basic commands should be easy to teach and never be forced.
The speed in which the trainer gives instructions and how the class advances. In order for dogs to learn commands they need to be taught slowly and precisely.

Choosing a do-it-yourself training system can be as good as hiring a trainer or going to a class. It might take more time but remember that you’re saving yourself a couple hundred dollars. After all, you can take the credit for your well behaved dog. First of all read a few dog training books. I suggest reading “The Everything Dog Training and Tricks Book” By Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz, Bethany Brown, Christel A. Shea. This book has clear instructions, and not only does it show you training tricks but also it helps you to understand your dog’s needs. Feel free to explore other books, this is just a recommendation.

Before starting any kind of training I do suggest taking your dog for a walk or a jog for 15 – 20 min. This will help the dog to be relaxed, calm focused; and you’ll be able to teach your dog things faster. Then prepare your tools (leash, collar, treats, toys, etc) and the area which will be used for training. Know your instructions or have you dog training book close by. If you don’t know the instructions all that well you might confuse your dog and have a difficult time teaching him/her commands. When ever you dog does something right, reward him/her right away. This encourages dogs to listen to your instructions and continue training.