How to choose a dog trainer
With so many people involved in the field of professional dog training today, trying to determine who's truly qualified can be a difficult task. For those trying to decide on a professional dog trainer, the American Dog Trainers Network offers the following criteria concerning what to look for:
A NOTE OF WARNING: Unless a dog trainer comes highly recommended to you by *at least* one reputable source, the bottom line for the consumer is BUYER BEWARE!
Remember, absolutely anyone can call himself a dog trainer or behaviorist. Slick ads with inflated claims, grandiose self-descriptions, and impressive sounding titles can be very deceptive. Investigate any stated affiliations a trainer lists on his or her brochure, Yellow Pages ad or web site. If a trainer claims to be affiliated with an organization (past or present) or claims to have "studied" with well-known dog trainers or behaviorists, ask for their telephone numbers and contact them to be sure. NOTE: A common ploy for some trainers, is to attend a couple one-or two-day seminars or workshops with a well-known dog expert (or University), then claim to have studied with that person (or at that institution).
Also, verify how many years the trainer you are considering has been training dogs professionally. While years alone are not enough to determine a trainer's experience level in and of itself, it's certainly says a lot.
A FINAL NOTE: Beware of dog trainers who care more about publicity, public relations, and celebrities, than they care about your dog and the quality of training they provide. Many professional dog trainers have worked with celebrities and high-profile people. But take note if the trainer seems totally pre-occupied with dropping names, and bills himself as the "Trainer To The Stars", something that says little or nothing about his ability as a dog trainer.
Copyright © 1997, Robin Kovary
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