The Importance of Choosing the Right Dog Trainer
Did you know the dog training industry is unregulated? That’s right. Literally anyone and everyone can call themselves a dog trainer. That’s scary for our industry as professionals, but even more scary for our dogs! You wouldn’t trust your child with someone with no credentials– the same should go for your dog!
Before choosing a trainer, you should ask at least a few questions to protect you and your dog from getting bad advice – or worse. We’ll give you some examples of good questions to ask.
Some trainers still use shock collars, prong collars and other punishment-based methods even though science has proven these methods to be unnecessary and outdated. AND harmful to your dog and your relationship – your bond – with your dog.
Even though unregulated, certification DOES exist. A knowledgeable, experienced and professional trainer will have verifiable certification. And since our industry is rapidly growing and changing, so is the science-based information as we learn more about how dogs think and learn: therefore, a knowledgeable, experienced and professional trainer will be committed to continuing education. Your trainer should be an active member in the industry’s leading professional organizations.
We’re proud to have our area’s only purely positive reinforcement trainer, Rachel Brix, CPDT-KA, who is also our area’s only Certified Professional Dog Trainer — her credentials having been earned from the leading independent certification council in the industry: the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.
Rachel is not only certified with mandatory continuing education, be she also is a conference speaker and published author with the industry’s largest professional organization, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Furthermore, her membership in the Pet Professional Guild requires she use only force free, positive reinforcement methods.
Come to Percy’s Playground, where it’s:
No pain. No fear. No force. No way!
In closing, good questions to ask any potential trainer BEFORE you hire include:
Where did you get your certification?/s
What professional organizations do you belong to?
What continuing education do you do to keep yourself current?
What training methods do you use?
***What happens to my dog when s/he doesn’t do what we ask?***This is the most important question of all. Be on alert: many trainers are saying they’re “balanced” or even that they use positive reinforcement, but still use punishment-based training methods.
Protect you and your dog from poor training that could result in harmful effects on your dog… always investigate before hiring a trainer!