By Lesley White, owner, Peak City Puppy
Dogs are part of our families, and it can be tempting to let your own dog get away with behavior you would find problematic in a stranger’s dog. Especially if he is a puppy, you may naturally assume behavior is ‘harmless’ and ‘he’ll outgrow it.’ In our experience however, good obedience isn’t just something that’s nice to have. Training is an essential way to keep your dog safe and happy for the long term. The theories and approaches to dog training are numerous and sometimes confusing, leading you to consider some outside help.
Choosing a dog trainer might be a great option for pet parents who need a little help with the basics, or even those who want to go a little further. Read on to learn our top tips to find the right dog trainer for your dog.
Consider Your Reasons
Many owners choose to go to a dog trainer when they get a puppy to get a head start on essentials like potty training and leash walking, however, there are many reasons to seek out a professional trainer. Before you decide on a dog behavior professional it’s important to take stock of WHY you’re looking for help. Whether you need basic obedience training, help with behavioral issues or even training for specialized sports, understanding why you need a trainer is the first step.
Do You Need Private Help or Socialization?
Training isn’t all about getting down commands and understanding behaviors. One huge benefit of dog training is group classes where your dog can socialize in a controlled setting. If your dog might need help learning how to play nice, has anxiety or needs some help with interactions, a group class might be the best fit. Private training might be essential for dogs who are easily distracted, overly anxious or who are training for specialized activities like hunting, agility and others.
Ask for Credentials
Many people can own dogs but not just anyone can successfully train one. Most reputable trainers will have credentials from organizations like the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, will have undertaken significant training and education themselves and will have a long list of success stories. Insist on seeing credentials and insurance before trusting your beloved pet to any trainer.
Ask the Professionals
Just like you would ask for recommendations for many things in life, getting recommendations from animal health professionals is always a great idea. Ask your trusted veterinarian, doggy daycare, local humane society and even your groomer. Many of these people help dogs be their best everyday, and are happy to recommend trainers. At Peak City Puppy, we’ve encountered many dog trainers and will be happy to share our experiences with you.
Proper training is essential to keeping your dog healthy and happy for many years to come, and so is proper exercise and attention. Professional dog walking is an excellent complement to dog training. While our team members are not dog trainers, we have years of experience handling dogs and will work closely with you to reinforce new good habits you are working to establish with your dog. Daily exercise is also a key component of good obedience. “A tired dog is a good dog.”
Learn more about how Peak City Puppy can help you and your dog live your best lives together including pricing for our Signature Dog Walk Service at PeakCityPuppy.com