HIring a Professional Dog Trainer - Training in The Name Of

Bing bang boom there’s a dog in your living room! After enjoying the honeymoon phase, you start to see concerning behaviors. Now what?

What’s the difference between hiring a professional dog trainer and following your kid brother’s friend’s advice? Since dogs are so commonplace, everyone has advice to share. The sources for this advice may range from “As Seen on TV” to peer-reviewed journals. What’s the worst that could happen if you follow misguided advice?

In our last blog post, we discussed all of the education a professional dog trainer can bring to your session.

Do all dog trainers have the same education and ethics? In fact, anyone can hang up a sign and advertise their dog training services. That’s right, dog training is an unlicensed industry in the USA. The company or individual you choose to train your dog can help improve or worsen your relationship with your dog.

Some dogs are very resilient and remain well adjusted whether trained primarily with punishment or rewards. Some dogs experience long-lasting behavior fallout when trained primarily with punishment.

Here are several concepts to consider when choosing a dog trainer for any dog:

  • Training should cause no harm.

  • Trainers should be able to concisely explain the peer-reviewed science behind training plans.

  • Training plans should be clear for both people and dogs.

  • Trainers should be able to adapt plans quickly in response to the dog’s behavior.

  • Training methods should be reproducible across multiple breeds and species.

  • Trainers should listen to your concerns, and never make you feel you have to do something you are not comfortable with.

  • Training should cause no harm.

To help you narrow the field, here are some keywords and credentials to pair with your dog trainer search. This list includes common, reputable certification programs. It may not be exhaustive.

Force-Free, Fear-Free, Positive Reinforcement, Reward-based, Science-based, Certified Professional Dog Trainer — Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Pat Miller Certified Trainer (PMCT), Jean Donaldson’s Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC), Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP)

Here are position statements regarding punishment and choosing a trainerfrom the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

If we may be of service, contact us at www.behaviorunited.com