Your dog is part of the family, but dogs and humans have different needs and ways of communicating. Taking time to understand and train your dog can make for a more satisfying relationship.
Top dog behavior problems trainers can fix: barking, destruction, jumping up, running away despite being called, pulling hard on a leash.
Angie's List, the nation's leading provider of consumer reviews, asked highly rated animal trainers about the benefits of working with a professional. They include:
• Help in working through the frustration that can arise during training sessions.
• Maximizing results for busy people.
• Specific ideas based on years of experience.
Common types of training;
• Dog training styles range from reward-based to military-style approaches.
• Training methods may focus on gestures, body language and voice tone, or may be reward-based, with treats or praise, or may include electronic collars or other correction tools.
• Classes may be taught in groups or individual sessions, at a facility or the owner's home. Some offer "boarding training," in which a dog spends days or weeks at the facility, being trained, and the owner is later shown how to continue what was taught.
• Puppies can enroll in training as soon as they've had their necessary vaccinations.
Angie's List Tips: Hiring a dog trainer
• States don't require that dog trainers be licensed. Ask about the trainer's education, credentials and experience. Consider a trainer who's a member of a professional organization, such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers or the Association of Canine Professionals.
• Talk to your vet. Before hiring a trainer, consult with your veterinarian to rule out a physical cause for behavior issues. Make sure you hire a trainer who asks for your dog's health records, to reduce the chance of disease spreading.
• Interview potential trainers. Ask for details about their training approach and techniques. Check into the differences in pace and expectations between individual and group instruction. Observe a class to make sure you agree with a trainer's approach before paying. Many trainers will offer a free evaluation.
• Get details in writing. Costs vary widely, with hourly rates, as well as multi-class packages, available. You should have all details of the training in writing. Also, ask for a money-back guarantee.