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10 Steps To Take Before You Hire A Professional Dog Trainer
Dog owners often complain that the professional trainer they hired didn’t do what they expected or that the trainer used a method they weren’t aware of and their dog isn’t responding to their own methods any longer. While sometimes this statement is true there are often times that the one that needs the training or educating is the dog owner. Here are ten steps to guarantee your experience with a professional dog trainer will be a huge success.
Know what kind of dog trainer they are. Just because this trainer did a good job with your neighbor's beagle doesn’t mean that he is the perfect trainer for your pointer. Check references and do your homework. Don’t be afraid to check around.
Know exactly what kind of program they teach. Every professional trainer has a different program. Understand what the trainer will accomplish during the program. Make sure every detail is spelled out at the beginning. If possible sit in on a training session before you decide to hire them. You can determine so much from one session.
Define your goals up front. If you have certain expectations you need to let the trainer know so he or she is given the opportunity to confirm that the program will include that specific need. If you have more than one specific need make sure to confirm this BEFORE you start training. There is nothing more frustrating to a trainer than for you to change your expectations mid-session.
Know that the training might not work EXACTLY like you expected. Dog’s are not robots and their personalities and breeding will play a role in the results. There is just no guarantee.
Acknowledge that you are NOT the trainer. If you need to hire a trainer, then fire yourself for the time being. Don’t interrupt and become a distraction, it annoys the trainer and decreases the chances of success.
If you have equipment, e-collars, leashes or other training devices that you want the trainer to use, then make sure the trainer is aware of and provided with the equipment ahead of time. Don’t be surprised if the trainer isn’t interested in using your equipment. If that is something you prefer make sure the trainer is willing to use your equipment before you hire him or her.
Acknowledge and respect the time that your trainer needs to accomplish your goals. Too often dog owners want the fast track. It may take longer to train your dog than originally expected, if you interfere and pull out, you might have wasted money and time. No two dogs are the same.
Don’t fear their method. Trust your trainer. If you make the decision to hire a trainer, trust the decision and the way the trainer trains. Don’t be afraid of an e-collar. An e-collar is actually the most dog friendly way to discipline. You rarely see a dog cower at the sight of his training collar. Most often you see a confident, tail wagging pup eager to put that collar on. For example, our GSP runs to the door, sits and looks up at the collar on the charger waiting for us to put it on and once it is on he wags his tail and gets so excited to start his session.
Keep in mind that the training sessions are baby steps and might not look like the actual hunt. The steps during training are similar to practicing for a sport, you start small and build up muscle and habits in order to be stronger mentally and physically.
Listen to what the trainer tells you to do when you take your dog home. When the training is passed off to you, you have to be consistent. Some dog owners mess the dog up when he comes home simply by not reinforcing the training plan. Make certain you understand what is expected of you when you leave.
If you follow this steps you should come away with a positive training experience, a well trained dog and a better understanding of what professional training is all about. Remember that you are part of the training before and after the process.