(C)2012 Paul Hankins

Finding a Good Trainer

How do I find a dog trainer?

The states of MA and RI do not regulate dog training; no license or certification is required, so anyone can claim to be trainer - or even a master trainer.
You should be cautious when hiring a trainer.

Some questions to ask are:

  1. Are you a certified trainer?
    1. If yes, ask where and when they received certification and call to verify.(Experience alone is not accreditation)
    2. If no, find another trainer.
  2. What do you teach?
    1. If basic obedience and behavior modification for problem behaviors is taught go to question 3.
    2. If only basic obedience is taught, find another trainer.
  3. What methods do you use?
    1. If positive reinforcement is the primary training method go to question 4.
    2. If training devices (choke chains, pinch or electric collars) are always used, find another trainer.
  4. What training options are available?
    1. If a variety of options are available(such as group training, private lessons at a facility or in your home are available, go to question 5.
    2. If only one option is available, find another trainer.
  5. What option is right for me and my dog?
    1. If the trainer gives you the pros and cons for each method, advises you on the best method and that the final decision should be yours, go to question 6.
    2. If only one option is discussed, find another trainer.
  6. What experience do you have?
    1. If a variety of situations are given go to question 7.
    2. If the only answer given is "I've trained hundreds of dogs", find another trainer.
  7. Can I observe a training session?
    1. If yes go to question 8.
    2. Otherwise, find another trainer.
  8. You may have found the right trainer. Good luck!

If at any time you are uncomfortable with any method used by the trainer, find another trainer!

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