Finding a good trainer for your dog may take a bit of research, and we’re happy to help make the process a bit less stressful. 

You may want to observe a class with a trainer before enrolling your dog into one of their spots –this way, you know what to expect before making a commitment. While observing a class, ask yourself: Are the dogs happy? Are the family members enjoying themselves? If you’re able to answer yes to both of these questions, that’s a good sign.  You never want to choose a trainer where the dogs look stressed out or scared, and if the owners aren’t being included, the training won’t do much good, as the dog needs to be able to know to take commands from you. 

Is the location in which the training session is taking place, clean and secure? You want to make sure that all gates and fences are able to be locked so that the dog doesn’t have a change of escaping and getting hurt during the session. Make sure that the floor is clean of debris and other items that the dog could try to eat or get distracted by during a class.  

It’s important to pay attention to the kinds of tools used in a session as well. The only tools that should be used to train your dog are flat collars, leashes, bite-sized treats, toys, harnesses, etc. If the trainer has anything like shock collars, pronged collars, or choke collars, you should steer clear, as you’d only be teaching your dog to obey through fear, which won’t lead to trust in the end. 

The trainer should never use physical punishment. If a dog fails to obey a command, they should never be spanked, hit with the leash, pulled by the leash harshly, etc., as again, this teaches the dog to listen due to fear and not because they know they just should. 

It’s always okay to ask the trainer their background –don’t feel awkward asking what training and educational programs they went to to get here, as it’s important to know that they’re qualified in their work, especially when working with your fur babies. 

A good trainer will also want a copy of your dog’s vaccinations to make sure that they’re in good health. If they don’t ask for these, you may be exposing your dog to  potentially unhealthy dogs, as you won’t know if their health charts are up to date or not. 

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local pet store if you have questions on this or any pet related topic.