This is often quite a difficult decision to make. If you have a dog that is currently proving difficult to train or your finding it hard to stop some annoying problem behavior, then sometimes the best bet is to call in a professional dog trainer or canine behaviorist. With the help of a professional it can certainly make all the difference between being stressed and frustrated with your dog behavior, as opposed to enjoying a wonderfully trained and behaved dog.
But finding a good trainer or behaviorist is not as easy as looking in the Yellow Pages. Be prepared to contact a number of professional trainers and interview them. You will need to determine what their training methods are that they use. You’ll be surprised how much they vary. Be wary to avoid trainers who use negative reinforcement training methods such as yelling, kicking, isolating, or jerking on the lead. This can be quite traumatic to your dog and do more harm than good.
The best training methods, and the style you should look out for are the positive reinforcement methods. That said, your next hurdle is to ensure that the dog trainer or behaviorist you have selected has the appropriate experience and qualifications to do the job right. Don’t just believe what is said on an advertisement or glossy brochure.
Instead, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to determine the actual qualifications the trainer has and which professional training affiliations he is registered with. Another way to determine whether the trainer you’re considering employing is the right one of the job, is to ask for references or testimonials from previous customers. Keep in mind that the testimonials or references you will be given, will be of a positive nature.
Do your best to try and get a phone number in which to contact a previous customer. This way you can get a much better idea as to whether or not you would like to employ this trainer.