Your dog is a part of your family. So, when you put them in the hands of a trainer, you want to do it with complete confidence that you can trust that trainer with your furry friend. That’s why finding the right dog trainer is so important.
The process for picking a dog trainer can be a stressful one. There are a lot of trainers out there and sifting through pages of potential candidates and services on the Internet can be overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for.
We can help. Below we’ve compiled and answered the biggest questions dog owners have about finding dog trainers and training services to help you narrow down your search.
Should I pay to have my dog trained or train them myself?
When you pay for a professional dog trainer, you’re not just paying for convenience. You’re paying for a depth of dog training knowledge and experience you simply can’t get yourself with how-to articles or instructional videos.
Professional balanced dog trainers, like the ones at Koru K9, know the principles of dog training inside and out; they can diagnose the root of problem behaviors and develop a training plan that is tailored to your dog; and they have real-world experience working with different types of dogs, behaviors and owners.
That in-depth knowledge and experience means that if your dog’s training doesn’t go as initially planned, a dog trainer can quickly and effectively pivot to a Plan B (then Plan C or even D, if needed) and still ensure your dog gets the help they need.
If you’ve watched a YouTube video to learn how to train your dog and your newly learned method isn’t working, will you be able to switch things up on the fly and still get the results you want?
You have only 1.3 seconds to reward or correct your dog’s behavior. Will you be able to have that timing down? Can you identify the source of your dog’s behaviors instead of only focusing on addressing symptoms? How will you set up your dog training sessions? What safety protocols will you have in place?
These are all skills a professional dog trainer has mastered. When you hire a dog trainer, you’re paying for the expertise they have that will transform your dog and your life.
How do I choose the right dog trainer?
Choosing the right trainer for you and your dog is all about doing your homework. You want to find out as much as you can about a dog trainer so you can make an educated decision on whether they’re the right fit for you and your dog.
Call and speak with multiple different dog trainers, ask detailed questions about their experience and methods, and get in touch with previous clients.
When you’re talking to prospective dog trainers during your search, consider the following:
· Are they flexible enough to adapt a program specifically to your dog?
· Is their training program holistic, meaning it’s aimed at addressing all aspects of your dog’s behavior?
· Do they demonstrate in-depth knowledge of different breeds, drives, behaviors and training approaches?
What kind of dog trainer should you look for? An experienced professional who is able to adapt their training approach to your dog so they can address your dog’s behavior from every angle.
At Koru K9, our training programs are tailored to each individual dog and all behavioral issues using a balanced, comprehensive approach by experienced and successful trainers who have met our intensive screening process.
What are the signs that a dog trainer isn’t a good fit?
There are several signs you can look out for during your search for the right dog training. The best piece of advice we can give you? Trust your gut.
That said, we’ve put together a list of five potential red flags:
1. One Size Fits All — There is no one-size-fits-all method for dog training. Proper dog training requires a balance of the four quadrants of dog training based on your dog to effectively communicate with them and modify their behavior.
2. A Lack of Specifics — Experienced dog trainers are knowledgeable about different breeds, drives, behaviors and approaches. If a dog trainer is vague when describing their approach to your dog, this should be a red flag.
3. Guarantees — When it feels too good to be true, it probably is. There are no guarantees in dog training. Be wary of any trainer who promises particular results for your dog or says “yes” to everything, especially before they’ve done any type of evaluation.
4. The Role of the Owner — For dog training to be successful, you as the owner must pick up where the trainer leaves off with your dog and implement what you’ve both learned into your daily lives. If a trainer tells you otherwise, be cautious.
5. No Meet & Greet — A dog trainer should always take the time to meet with you and your dog in person to evaluate your situation before making any training recommendations.
How much do dog trainers normally cost?
Dog training varies in price depending on the services offered and the level of experience. But when it comes to hiring a professional dog trainer, the old adage rings true: you get what you pay for.
When you pay for proper dog training, you’re hiring a professional in their field. It takes dog trainers years to hone their skills and master training programs that are designed to shape puppies, deal with full-grown human aggressive dogs, and everything in between.
You want your dog to have a better life. You don’t want to cut any corners with their training.
Is it good to have a dog trainer come to your home?
Yes. When a dog trainer comes to your home, they can witness your dog’s behavior in real time, assess how you react to their behavior, and observe your dog’s environment and how they behave in it.
This real-world interaction gives a dog trainer the chance to evaluate each dog’s situation more comprehensively than if they were to hear about problems over the phone or in an email from the owner, who can unintentionally leave out important details because they’re so involved in the situation.
An experienced professional dog trainer will be able to use the information they gather from a visit to your home to help build a plan to achieve your dog training goals.
What can you expect when a dog trainer comes to your home? At Koru K9, our trainers visit client homes for our onboarding sessions and for our in-home training programs.
We do an in-home onboard session with every one of our new clients. These sessions let us see first-hand the problem behaviors you’re experiencing with your dog and understand how we can create a training approach specific to your needs and the needs of your dog.
During our in-home training program, a Koru K9 trainer comes to your home for a series of private sessions to teach you how to address your dog’s behaviors, communicate better with your dog and be the owner they need.
What are board and train programs for dogs?
During a board and train program, your dog lives at the home of a professional dog trainer for a period of a few weeks. Usually, these programs last anywhere from three to six weeks, but the length varies depending on the severity of the dog’s behavior.
Typically, board and train programs are recommended for tougher cases so stricter protocols can be followed during training and the dog’s behavior can be rebooted in a neutral environment. Board and train programs are also beneficial for busy owners who are unable to commit the time necessary to modify their pet’s behavior.
Why are board and train programs beneficial? When dogs are placed in a new environment that they’re unsure of, they tend to fall into a new routine easier than if they were training in their home environment. This helps them understand what they’re being asked to do more easily and incorporate those things into their home lives once they return.
However, putting your dog in a board and train program does not mean your dog will come home “fixed.” A professional dog trainer can reset your dog’s behavior and lay the foundation for a new relationship with your dog, but you have to continue that training momentum once your dog is back.
You’ll get as much out of a board and train program as you’re willing to put into it.
How many training sessions does a dog need?
The number of training sessions your dog needs depends on your dog and what behaviors have to be addressed. When a dog trainer evaluates your dog’s behavior, they can suggest a number of training sessions.
It’s important to remember, however, that the number of sessions will only be a suggestion. It’s common that trainers will recommend additional sessions based on your dog’s progress.
Training is something all dogs should do. You’re either getting on top of behavior before it starts or fixing behaviors that have developed because there hasn’t been any proper training put in place.
Some training is always better than none, so no matter where your dog falls on that spectrum, you should consider working with a professional trainer. Whether it’s only three in-home sessions or a full board and train program, introducing your dog to any level of training will be beneficial for both of you.
How effective is dog training?
With the right trainer and approach, proper balanced training has the potential to transform your relationship with your dog.
But the truth is that dog training is only as effective as the time that you, as the owner, are willing to put into it once your dog has been trained. If you take the steps necessary to find the right dog trainer for you and your dog, it’s then up to you to pick up that training ball and run with it.
Your dog can master every part of their training with a professional, but you must build off everything your dog has learned and integrate it into your daily lives to get the most out of your investment.