You’ll want to call a dog trainer to help you figure out the basic commands for your doggie. This professional is responsible for helping dog handlers learn the correct techniques and apply them every day. First of all, it should be noted that the mission of the dog trainer is not to educate your doggie for you, but to teach you how to educate your animal effectively. However, like any profession, there are dog trainers who are more efficient and recommended than others.
How to find the right teacher for your little companion? Let’s simultaneously figure out what identifies a good professional and, conversely, the signs that scare you.
What are the characteristics of a good dog trainer?
As with any professional field, there are dog trainers who are better than others. Some are more competent and pedagogical, but the way you learn and techniques can also be more or less in line with what you expect.
To help you find a good dog trainer for your dog, here are the behaviors we consider important.
A useful and enjoyable professional: the importance of first contact
It is important that the dog trainer can make a good impression on you from the first contact. To do this, he needs to be attentive to you and your dog, and at the same time be able to give you accurate answers to his methods. All the questions you need to ask should lead to a clear answer.
If you notice a hesitation, avoidance responses or lack of communication, it is better to seek refuge with another professional. It is important to call in an open, caring and helpful dog trainer, who is willing to accompany you through the entire learning process with competence.
In addition, contact and communication are important. It is important that the professional is there to answer your questions. Even if you pay him on time and the session time is over, it is important that he agrees to give you the information you need.
The canine educator accompanies you to educate your dog. So he should be able to teach your dog some points, but his job is not to educate your pooch for you. It tells you the procedure to follow, the behaviors that need to be followed and the exercises to put in place to achieve your goals.
For this, he needs to be a good pedagogue, that is, he needs to be able to give you clear information and guide you with patience. It is important that the lessons are clearly understood, easy to apply and their purpose clearly explained to you.
Of course, you should have time for a session to practice each exercise multiple times with your animal. The dog trainer should not only be there to give you instructions to use immediately at home, alone. No, his job is to support you effectively through sessions for greater success at home.
Professional skills are one thing, but it’s also important to rely on concrete references. Don’t hesitate to ask in advance to be sure to knock on the right door. Word of mouth, websites, customer reviews, professional breeders or even veterinarians, there are many sources to get information and good addresses.
It is important that the chosen dog trainer practices well as a professional. To do this, he must have a SIRET number clearly displayed on his communication media. Often, good dog trainers are known and have a strong network of professionals in the animal world. However, you can find out about the certifications – especially the existence of a certificate of competency issued by the veterinary services – held by the professional and part of his or her professional history.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s your right, because it’s better not to hand over your dog to any teacher.
The possibility of attending a session
It’s always nice to attend a collective session with other doggies before engaging with a dog trainer. This possibility is a sign that the professional is not hiding anything and thus you can be sure that his methods are in line with your expectations and that the relationship he has built with the dogs is healthy and good.
In fact, don’t forget to have all the professionals. Others are trained in current methods, based on goodness and positive reinforcement. But some still rely on traditional methods that include punishment and tools that can harm the dog.
For a good work session, a good dog trainer ensures that a pleasant work environment is created, based on play, so that the animal enjoys it and that it is voluntary and active in its learning. without fear, nor coercion.
Similarly, you can check that the dog trainer will adapt his techniques to the unique personality of each doggie.
Sessions tailored to your needs
Some canine educators only offer individual or group sessions and others mix the two. The latter option is the most appropriate. In fact, group sessions can help your animal socialize well in contact with other congeners and having other doggies follow him as they learn encourages him to follow their example more. As for individual sessions, they make it possible to correct some deficiencies and personalize learning according to the needs and development of your animal.
Note that before participating in a group session, your dog should be updated on his or her immunizations. One point that a professional and qualified dog trainer will remind you of is no problem.
Choosing a good dog trainer: how to avoid making mistakes?
Unfortunately, some dog trainers can make a good impression at first glance, while becoming poor teachers. Let’s examine some of the signs that should alert you.
An old way of learning
As we said, today’s learning methods are based on many years of goodness and positive reinforcement. They have already proven themselves to many and they have a great advantage in respecting the welfare of the animal. Through play and reward, the dog is naturally encouraged to repeat good behavior. She enjoys learning and wants to be fully involved in her learning.
Unfortunately, some dog trainers continue to use older, more violent and fear -based methods. The animal is motivated to learn out of fear of punishment. So he does not act for the pleasure or satisfaction of his master, but to avoid punishment, humiliation or abuse. If you’ve noticed in particular that the dog trainer uses the choke collar to learn how to walk on the leash without pulling, get away!
If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask the French-speaking Professional Movement of Companion Dog Educators (MFEC), which promotes positive and friendly education and has a directory of teachers who practice it!
Loss of sanitary requirements
Your dog should be up-to-date on his or her immunizations, especially when participating in a group session. If the professional doesn’t need it, it’s better to look elsewhere!