Committing to dog training is no small decision. It’s a big life change for your dog, and a commitment of your time. Dog training classes are an investment. In choosing a dog trainer, you and your dog can’t afford the wrong selection. By keeping an eye out for these qualities to look for in a dog trainer, you can find the perfect match for your dog and start working on those new tricks.
When it comes to training a dog who may not be quite a willing student, patience isn’t just a virtue—it’s an outright necessity. Like humans, most dogs have an innate desire to learn. When that desire doesn’t reveal itself in every situation, a great trainer can continue through the rough patches without getting dissuaded by a defiant dog. Disqualify any trainer who lashes out. Punishment rather than reinforcement is not an effective tool for long-term learning and should never be used.
Patience and perseverance go hand in hand. It’s quite an admirable thing to stay committed to training no matter how difficult it is. When searching for a trainer, look for anecdotes about particularly troublesome dogs whose trainers turned from stubborn and mistrustful to willing and devoted. If you can find a teacher who never gives up on the dog they’re training, that’s the way to go.
Any good dog trainer adheres to an overarching educational philosophy and applies it to their work. After all, if dog training were about making it up as you go along, you’d make it up yourself. While flexibility and creativity are part of any training regimen—if you’ve met one dog, you’ve truly met one dog—you should make sure a trainer has a set of principles, tactics, and concepts that guide them each day.
Dog trainers don’t only need strong relationships with their canine clients. They need to be able to successfully interface with the dogs’ humans, too. One of the most important qualities to look for in a dog trainer is how they’ll work with you in conjunction with your dog. You may have the vision of a rigid martinet, perhaps with a vaguely European accent, who speaks in clipped tones and will hardly speak to dogs’ owners at all. Thankfully, this is the vision of the past—if not of fiction. At Cosmic Canine, our expert trainers are friendly, open, and full of feedback as they provide quality dog training in the Dallas, Texas area. Today’s successful dog trainers are just as adept at communicating their goals and strategies with owners as they are with the dogs.