How to Find the Right Dog Trainer

November 29, 2022
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The right dog trainer should make training fun!

If you are thinking of getting a dog trainer then you probably want the best right? 

When I first got my own dog and started researching trainers, I struggled to understand all of the options available. It took me ages to make a decision (and I’ve even made a few errors buying them in the past too!)

In this article, I’m going to break down exactly what you want to look for so you can get the right trainer, not only for your dog, but for you, your family and your lifestyle.

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Your dog should LOVE their training and never be scared by it

  1. What training do you want for your dog?
  • Do you just want to train your dog a sit, a down and a stay?  In this case a training class might be suitable.  
  • Do you want to train your dog to fit in with your household – for example to be able to settle calmly whilst you watch tv?  In this case one to one training may be more suitable so that the trainer knows you and your dog.
  • To be able to take them for a walk on lead without your shoulder being pulled out of the socket? To be able to have off lead walks without stress?  There are so many different reasons that dogs pull on the lead or not come back when they’re called, so a one to one should get to the bottom of the reasons rather than finding a sticking plaster temporary solution.
  • Or maybe you are having a particular struggle with your dog – for example they struggle with other dogs, or they struggle when you’re not with them.  These definitely need one to one help.
  1. What is your household like?
  1. How much do you want to pay?

    The cost of dog training really eally does vary significantly. Check out our blog on the cost of dog training here:
  1. The pitfalls to avoid?
  • Make sure that you choose the right type of trainer.  Some dog “trainers” rely on pain and intimidation to train dogs – AVOID THESE LIKE THE PLAGUE! If they talk about “fixing” your dog, or they “guarantee quick results” (dogs are living creatures, nobody can guarantee anything quick!), or they use slip leads, prong collars, shock collars etc – the evidence tells us that reward-based methods are not only kinder but also more effective.  Beware the trainer who uses the words “alpha”, “dominate” or “submit”.  Not only do these words suggest the use of cruel methods, they also indicate a lack of training and understanding of dog behaviour.
  • Does the trainer regularly update their CPD?  A trainer who already knows it all is one to avoid.  Letters after a name does not a good dog trainer make!  I’ve done a variety of courses and qualifications and the ones which gave me letters after my name are not the ones which have been the most useful when it comes to practically helping people with their dog training struggles.
  • Can you speak to the trainer prior to booking?  Do they ask lots of questions about your dog’s health and background?  So many behaviour issues are linked to health so it’s important that they know.  Most importantly, do you like them?  Do you trust them?  Did you click?  This relationship is SO important to helping your dog.
  • Do they just take an interest in your dog and not in you and your domestic situation?  When training, both ends of the lead are vital – make sure you’re working with someone who understands and respects what you want from being a dog parent.  Do they ask about your dog owning dream?
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The relationship you have with your dog trainer is so important

After reading this article I’m sure you’ll be a lot more confident when choosing a dog trainer. If you found this useful then you’re going to love this. 

If you would like to discuss your dog training needs, I’d love to have a chat!  Book a call

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