Personally, I like to find out how many dogs the trainer has put obedience titles on, since it is proof that the instructor is experienced enough to have a dog or dogs that have qualified under three judges.
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers says to look for trainers who use a variety of training methods. "Dogs are individuals and your trainer should be able to respond to those individual needs."
Robin Kovary, on the Internet, writes: "The American Dog Trainers Network offers the following criteria concerning what to look for:
n An excellent reputation as a trainer.
n Widespread experience. Inquire about his or her background. Investigate any stated affiliations a trainer lists, or any claims to have "studied" with well-known dog trainers or behaviorists, ask for their telephone numbers and contact them to be sure. (A common ploy for some trainers is to attend a couple of one or two-day seminars or workshops with a well-known dog expert, then claim to have studied with that person.)
n Humane training methodology and gentle, effective handling skills.
Reputable trainers are concerned about their dogs' welfare.
n Extensive behavioral knowledge. Dedicated trainers keep themselves up-to-date by attending dog training and animal behavior courses, seminars, and workshops whenever possible.
n Good teaching and communication skills.
n A sense of humor.
n Puts ethics before profit."
The Final Solution Dog Training School, also on the Internet, counsels that the price of the classes should not be the determining factor. "Since there are no laws regulating this profession anyone that has read a book on dog training can start a training class with little or no experience."
Watch the trainer work a dog, especially his own dog. The dog should be happy and willing to work for his owner, according to this school. |5/6/04|***