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Choosing a Dog Trainer and Training Method

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by David Cugno

If you have researched dog training you may have noticed that there are many different methods of dog training. There is treat-based training, clicker training, all positive, pack mentality training and I’m sure there are many more.

Here is the bottom line

Training is more about the dog owner than the dog. Any good dog trainer knows this and forms their training method around the owner. All positive means no discipline, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all other types involve discipline. Some trainers believe in deterrents – this involves negative reinforcement such as corrections or something the dogs prefers not to feel. It is motivated by fear and nothing else. Almost all of the other methods have some base in scientific fact.

If you are looking for a dog trainer, make sure that you do your research – find a method that fits with your personality. A dog’s best trait is the uncanny ability to adapt. This means that as long as you love them they are happy.

Understanding is everything

A good training method should focus on teaching the dog owner how to understand how their actions influence the dogs actions. So many dog owners spend time frustrated with behaviors they unknowingly create. A trainer should get to know their client and understand how they live.

When they see the owner getting upset with something their dog does, it is important to let them know if it is being caused by the owner. At least that way they can spend less time feeling negative.

Make sure to ask questions

When looking for a dog trainer, make sure to ask questions. There are no stupid questions and if a trainer gives you a problem for asking questions go to another trainer – there are plenty to choose from.

The most important question is one you should ask of yourself: Can you see yourself working with this trainer for a long time? This is important because in order for the job to be done right you and your dog will have to work with the trainer each week for an extended amount of time. If you don’t like the person, it would be a mistake to expect to buy into their program. If you do your research and feel comfortable with the trainer, both you and your dog should gain from the experience.

About the author: Pulling from his 20 years of experience working with dogs, David Cugno, dog behaviorist and trainer provides tips and techniques that will help foster a happy, well-balanced relationship between dog and owner.
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