How to Choose the Best Dog Trainer

Now that you’re a dog owner, you’re probably considering hiring a dog trainer. It is an important decision and can be very difficult, especially if it’s your first time. Many dog trainers make promises, claims, and even offer guarantees, so how do you choose the best dog trainer Houston for you and your canine?

Tips to Choose the Best Dog Trainer

The most important thing to know about dog trainers is that it is mostly an unregulated profession. What this means is anyone can advertise themselves as a dog trainer. To make sure you choose a dog trainer that can truly help you and your dog live a better life together, you need to do your research.

The dog training profession has made huge strides in creating positive training ideologies, which are based on modern behavioral science techniques, which prove dominance and punishment-based techniques are less effective than positive teaching methods and can even be dangerous in some instances.

Determine Type of Dog Training Classes Needed

When you begin searching for a dog trainer, you’ll likely notice there are many different types of dog training classes. To make sure you start on the right path, it’s important to determine what type of training your dog needs. Do you need puppy training classes that will teach your pet to “sit” or “stay?” Or, do you need help curbing bad behaviors such as aggression and jumping? Understanding exactly what you need and expect from a dog trainer will help you find a trainer that teaches the classes you are interested in.

Search for Dog Trainer with Positive Technique Methods

When shopping for a dog trainer, it’s important to search for someone that doesn’t use fear, pain, or punishment when training canines. Instead, opt for a trainer that relies on positive reinforcement and someone who understands the dangers of punishment. A positive dog trainer will include one or many of the following techniques:

  • Include the entire household in training techniques
  • Take a full background history of dog
  • Address positive and negative behaviors
  • Provide client references

Questions to Ask Dog Trainers before You Hire

Once you’ve used the tips above to narrow down the list of the best dog trainers in your area, you should interview the candidates to make sure they meet your needs and expectations. Questions that you should consider asking a potential dog trainer include:

  • Do you have liability insurance?
  • How do you correct behaviors?
  • Could medical issues effect my dog’s behavior?
  • Could my dog’s diet effect their behavior?

All trustworthy dog trainers should have liability insurance. When you ask a dog trainer how they correct behaviors, you are looking for someone that uses positive techniques. An example of positive techniques includes those that interrupt negative behaviors without using fear or punishment. One of the reasons you ask a dog trainer about medical issues and your dog’s diet is to determine how much knowledge a dog trainer has regarding these external issues that can effect behavior.

If the dog trainer gives you advice about your doctor’s health, it’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your veterinarian to determine whether a condition needs to be evaluated or changes to your dog’s diet should be made.

Find the Best Dog Trainer in Houston

Now that you know what type of dog trainer you should choose and the questions to ask before settling on one, you are ready to find the best dog trainer in the Houston area. When you find the right match, you’ll create a dog/human team that will enhance your dog’s lifestyle and create a better relationship between you and other members of the household with your canine.