CHARLOTTE – Recently, I had a client contact me about training. She was starting her dog with a “behaviorist” in 2 weeks and needed a trainer as well. Immediately a red flag went off in my mind. There are no veterinary behaviorists in this area. The closest ones are in Raleigh. After asking a few questions, I realized that the client was unfairly manipulated by someone who was not only NOT a behaviorist but not a certified trainer either. Buyer beware!
Here are some questions to ask before you hire a dog trainer:
- Are you certified independent of your company? Look for CPDT, CBCC, CPDT initials.
- What methods do you use for training? Positive reinforcement? Shock Collars? Yank on the leash? A little of it all?
- How will you respond when my dog does not do what you’re asking?
- Guarantees – NO ONE should offer you a guarantee to “fix” your dog. Dogs are living, breathing, sentient beings, not robots.
- Board and Train programs – there are very few programs like this that do not use force. Be certain of who you’re sending your dog away with.
- Trainers that use the word “commands”. Usually, this is a sign that the dog has to do what the trainer says, or else (punishment). Positive reinforcement-based trainers prefer “cues”.
Your dog cannot speak for himself. It’s up to you to protect him. Next week, we’ll talk about what all those initials mean and how they can help you find the best trainer for you.
Sit, Stay, Play Dog Training & Behavior (704) 641-1042