Updated: Aug 30
Many well-intentioned dog owners lack the skills to educate and train dogs on their own.
There are many different reasons why someone needs to hire a dog trainer. Maybe you got a new puppy and want to ensure they're socialized or potty trained correctly.
Perhaps you have an older dog starting to develop bad habits. Regardless, hiring a professional is always best if you're not comfortable training your dog. Investing in dog training now may save you loads of trouble later. You won't need to retrain your dog down the line by preventing problem behaviors from developing. Getting obedience training right the first time is critical.
Dog training is also an investment in your and your dog's future. It will help establish a connection with your dog through trust and respect. It's not about scolding, coercion, or employing equipment like a shocking device to dominate a dog into submission. All that chaos does for a dog is instill fear and discomfort when you may quickly train a dog by using respect and communication from the heart-mind connection.
Things to Look For In Hiring A Dog Trainer
There are a few things you should take into consideration when hiring a trainer. The first thing is to make sure that they use positive reinforcement methods. You don't want to hire someone who uses punishment-based methods, as these can harm your dog's mental and physical health.
Jill Gasparac, a Los Angeles-based dog trainer of See-Spot-Stay, explains that she has seen people spend thousands of dollars on "credited" trainers who have little to no hands-on experience working with dogs or use shock collar training. Jill believes "forming a bond with a dog of trust and understanding is the best way to work with a dog. Teaching the dog to learn to make good choices vs. using forceful methods is how you connect with a dog. You don't want a trainer using fear/dominance and ego to train your dog; you want a trainer that builds a heart and mind connection with your pet that creates trust and respect. Jill also believes that obedience and boundaries should start immediately when one brings their new dog home—building a good rapport is key to this process.
It's also essential to ensure that the trainer you hire is experienced and reputable. You can ask for referrals from friends or family or look for online reviews. Once you've found a few trainers you're interested in, it's a good idea to set up a consultation to meet them in person and see how they interact with your dog.
Another thing to consider is what kind of training your dog needs. Make sure you hire someone qualified to teach your dog in the area you're looking for. Some trainers specialize in specific areas, such as obedience, aggression, or agility training.
The best training method will depend on you, your dog, and your issue. You might want to consider the following options before making a decision.
Hire a private trainer to come to your home
Board and train, where your dog stays at the trainer's facility for an extended period
The Animal-Human Connection
Energy is essential to animal-human communication and connection because it helps to create rapport. When you have a good feeling or "vibe" with someone, it's often because you have a positive energy exchange. This is also true when communicating with animals. The energy you put into the animal-human connection is crucial. If you're stressed or angry, your dog will pick up on that, making training more difficult.
If you're looking to build a strong bond with your dog, it's important to be aware of the energy you're putting out. Dogs are highly sensitive creatures and can pick up on even the subtlest changes. For example, if you're feeling frustrated or angry, your dog will likely pick up on that and become agitated.
On the other hand, if you're feeling calm and relaxed, your dog is likely to mirror that energy and relax. The key is to be aware of your own energy and to use it to create the type of communication and connection you desire with your dog.
When implementing any previous or post-training with your dog, it's vital to remain positive and upbeat. Dogs are much more likely to respond positively to dog training if they sense that you enjoy yourself.
The bottom line is that relaxed and positive energy is vital in animal-human communication and connection because it helps to create a rapport between the two. By being aware of your energy and using it to make positive communication, you can build a strong bond with your dog that will last a lifetime.
Hiring a dog trainer is an important decision. But if you take the time to do your research, you're sure to find someone who is qualified and who you feel comfortable with.
Dogs are like children because they require a lot of patience, consistency, and love.
A benefit of owning a dog is that you can communicate with them non-verbally. Even with just a look, dogs can understand us and follow directions. Being patient when implementing your dog training is essential, as rushing things will only lead to frustration on both ends. Consistency is vital; your dog will quickly become confused if you're inconsistent with your commands or rewards.
And finally, remember that the energy you put into the animal-human connection is crucial. If you're stressed or angry, your dog will pick up on that, making training more difficult. Breathe, relax, and be patient—you'll get there!