If you have determined that you need the help of a trained professional to work with you and your pup, you have probably been bombarded by a royal ton of random people claiming to be the best, the only person available who speaks dog, the only dog trainer in existence who holds the key to your dog’s happiness and lifelong obedience. You have likely been offered more guarantees than you can possibly count, each swearing by different methods. Some claiming to be firm and disciplinary, others claiming to help you become your dog's 'pack leader', and others who simply charge so much because of all their years and schooling making them the masters of dog psychology (this is all dripping with sarcasm). There are so many options and so many individuals saying that their way is the best way. Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong way this can cause increased psychological harm in your beloved pet. So, with this being the case, how do you navigate through this vast ocean of alternatives and select the trainer who is actually qualified to work with you using healthy, safe, and positive (and let’s not forget effective) techniques?
Still not sure who to choose? What are your friends and neighbors saying? Word of mouth is often the best way to find the best of what you are looking for. Ask people who are previous clients to find out about their methods, experience and success rate.
Finally, listen to your instinct. If you feel that something is wrong, don’t ignore the instinct! It is your furry family member’s wellbeing that you are concerned about… you are justified in this! AND … Don’t hesitate to be part of the process. If your trainer wants to exclude you, consider this to be a red flag. It is you that your dog has to respond to, you who lives with your dog, and you who is the paying customer! So don’t feel guilty for asserting that you want to be part of the process.