When choosing a home dog trainer to work with you and your dog in Phoenix, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. The priority that each of these factors holds for each client is different, but they should all be taken into account before you invest your hard earned dollars.
.. Dog Training Methods
.. The Dog Training Program
.. A Dog Trainer’s Experience
.. The Dog Training Location
.. Dog Training Guarantees
.. Dog Training Costs
Ask the trainer about the specific methods that they use.
If you are worried about the side-effects of shock collar training, then you need to know ahead of time if the trainer uses shock. If you are against putting your dog on drugs, it’s important to know if the trainer supports or recommends drug therapy. Don’t be afraid to ask the trainer about their methods. They are going to be handling your dog and you need to support the methods that they use.
Click Here for more detailed information on dog training methods and philosophies.
Watch out for trainers who need to do an in-home evaluation (free or paid).
An experienced trainer can evaluate your situation with a few simple questions. An in-home evaluation is usually offered as a ploy to get face-to-face with you. It’s much easier to sell you on a service that way. You should question a trainer who isn’t willing to quote you their price over the phone.
You shouldn’t need to give anyone your credit card information over the phone.
You shouldn’t have to pay in advance for an appointment or an evaluation. They want your credit card number to lock you in to their service. That way you won’t keep shopping around. There are trainers out there that will try to strong-arm you with “we’re very busy so you need to reserve your appointment time” or “if you buy now, we’ll discount the price”. These are ploys to limit your options. You shouldn’t let them do that to you.
Do your homework .. Investigate the company before you commit to them.
Do some investigation on any company that you are thinking about hiring. There are a number of websites where you can check out a company’s reputation.
Or even just search the company name with the word “complaints” on Google. If the company is not even listed anywhere, you may be looking at a hobby trainer or someone who just does it in their spare time. That’s not a real dog trainer.
Be careful of trainers who charge an hourly rate.
The goal of an hourly rate trainer is to charge you per behavior. This can get very expensive, very quickly. For a good training program, you can assume that you are going to spend a total of at least 6 to 10 hours with your trainer.
We recommend avoiding classroom training.
We’ve tried it in the past and it just isn’t very effective. A dog tends to exhibit very different behaviors outside of their home and in a classroom setting they can be distracted or stressed. Also, you will find that you are paying for a trainer whose time is split between multiple participants and they can easily become focused on the one or two problem students in the class and you and your dog become secondary.
Do you charge travel fees? Are there additional session costs? Are you going to send me to PetsMart every time you recommend a new training device? Are you going to slam my dog’s head in a door? Will I always have the same trainer? These are all valid questions and a reputable trainer will not be afraid to answer them for you.
Don’t be misled by a trainer’s credentials.
Sadly, our industry does not have any licensing or certification requirements. The IACP (the International Association of Canine Professionals) is probably the closest thing we have to a self-policing organization. Ask potential trainers about their qualifications.
We are a Professional member of the IACP. To earn this status you have to have at least five years of dog training experience and you have to prove it. Most of the other dog training organizations out there are fee based memberships and anyone can join.
We also have completed all of the required education to be a Certified Dog Behavior Advisor with Canine Dimensions, a national home dog training organization and we are certified evaluators for the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen program. This also requires a level of experience and has testing requirements. It’s not something that you can just buy.
Lastly, find a trainer that you enjoy talking to.
You will be working closely with your trainer and sharing your dog’s successes and failures with them. Make sure you have found a trainer who communicates well with you and who is willing to discuss why their methods work and what they do if your dog isn’t responding well to a certain method. Some trainers are locked into one way of doing things and don’t understand or accept that not every method works with every dog. They should always be willing to discuss alternative methods with you.