You might be interested in arranging private sessions or participating in obedience classes for training your dog. Either way, picking the right dog trainer is not an easy decision. Dog training is not licensed. As a result, it is easy for just about anybody to brand themselves a dog trainer, whether or not they are qualified. So how do you identify a qualified dog trainer?

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Identifying the right dog trainer

The most important consideration when looking for dog trainers is the methods they use. You want a dog trainer that uses humane, force-free dog training methods that are centered on positive reinforcement.

However, you should not assume that dog trainers use these methods simply because those words appear on their website. You have to interview the dog trainers in order to find out more about them and how they train dogs.

Reward-based dog training Oahu methods work by rewarding your dog to encourage it to repeat a certain behavior or withholding a reward in order to discourage a behavior.

In technical terms, the use of rewards to encourage or discourage certain behaviors is known as positive reinforcement. It is for this reason that some dog trainers refer to themselves as positive reinforcement dog trainers. Some use the terms humane or force-free dog trainers to distinguish themselves from trainers who use leash corrections, prong collars, electric shock and other aversive methods of dog training.

Food is the most effective reward compared to other forms of reward such as play. In addition to being the easiest and fastest reward to deliver, it is the most suitable in scenarios such as when you’re training a dog to sit-stay. In this case, using play as a reward will make the dog abandon the sit-stay position. You therefore, want a dog trainer that relies on food rewards.

Aversive dog training methods are risky as they may make a dog grow to be fearful or aggressive, which are serious problems that need a long time to be fixed, if they can at all.

You need not worry in case your dog is on a special diet. Qualified and experienced dog trainers can always find a treat that will not only motivate your dog but also fit its special diet. Just inform your trainers of your dog’s special dietary needs as soon as you hire them.

Qualifications of the right dog trainer

For dog trainers to be considered qualified, they need both skill and knowledge. This includes proper timing, knowledge of a dog’s body language, technical knowledge, and good people skills in order to successfully work with dog owners.

It’s not enough that someone grew up with dogs and loves them. The most important thing you need to ascertain is that they are qualified. The best qualifications include Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) and Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC), and they typically appear after a qualified dog trainer’s name.

Both these programs, among others, require a person to do course work and pass examinations to receive the qualification.

Filed under: Dog Training Tips

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