In the dog training world, there isn't any specific qualifications and achievements you have to do to qualify you as a dog trainer. Most dog trainers will do some basic courses on dog training, behaviour and psychology and then shadow other trainers to get some hands on experience and learn first hand from someone already in the business. So how do you know if the trainer you are looking at actually knows what they are doing and can help? Well there are a few easy things you ca do like research them like mad, look at their clients reviews and speak to people who know them or have worked with them to get a first hand opinion on their training. This will give you a pretty good picture of the person or company you want to work with and whether they will work with you and your dog but you also have to remember that what people say or write isn't always accurate.
One of the best ways though to find out what this trainer's training abilities are like is to meet them and more importantly - their dogs!
A dog trainers dogs are the product of their training capabilities and the success their training methods have. If a dog trainers dogs misbehave and can't follow basic instructions it's a good sign that your dog also won't be able to carry out the training practices also.
Here are some things to observe when meeting a dog trainers dogs:
1. Can their dog follow basic commands?
Does their dog sit, lie down and carry out the commands asked by the trainer? Do they do it first time or do they just do it in their own time? Do they just ignore the trainer and do their own thing? If a dog trainers dogs don't respond well to them, that's a good sign that they won't be able to teach you how to get your dog to respond to you.
2. Are they generally happy and sociable dogs?
Now if you're working with a dog trainer who specialises in behavioural cases the likelihood is their dogs will have had behavioural issues at one point and won't be perfect. However, if the trainer has had the dog for a long time and they still have issues like dog aggression, people aggression, barking excessively or have anxiety then there is a big red flag there! A trainers dogs should be generally sociable towards people and dogs and be generally happy, calm and relaxed in most situations.
3. How long have they had the dogs for and did they have behavioural issues when they got them?
Linking in with the above point, if th