January 29, 2022

How To Choose The Right Dog Trainer Near You

How To Choose The Right Dog Trainer Near You

When it comes to dog training, we want only the best for them. This is why it's important to find a qualified and experienced dog trainer when you need help with obedience training, separation anxiety, potty training, behavior modification, and other behavioral issues. But how can dog owners be sure that they're picking experienced dog trainers? In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to choose the best dog trainers near you!

Is hiring a dog trainer worth it?

The answer to this question is: it depends. It depends on the severity of your dog's issues, how much training you are able or willing to do on your own, and whether you have the time for regular sessions with a trainer. If your dog has severe behavior problems or if you're not confident about being able to train your dog properly, then hiring a trainer is definitely the way to go.

But even if your dog only has minor issues, it can be helpful to have regular sessions with a trainer to reinforce what you're teaching at home and help your dog stay on track. Training also provides an opportunity for socialization, which is crucial for all dogs.

The risks associated with an untrained dog

There are a few risks associated with owning an untrained dog. First of all, your dog may start to develop bad habits, such as jumping on people or chewing on things they're not supposed to. Secondly, if your dog has any obedience issues (like pulling on the leash), these can become increasingly difficult to control as your dog gets older. Finally, an untrained dog is more likely to run away or get into fights with other dogs, which can lead to injuries on both sides.

It can be very difficult for dog owners to train their dog effectively if they do not already experience and this will come at the expense of the dog's learning.  A professional dog trainer can help expedite the process with an individualized program and also provide support to owners to maintain success after training is completed.

So, is hiring a dog trainer worth it? In most cases, the answer is yes - especially if you're not confident about training your dog. Dog trainers can help solve obedience issues, prevent bad habits from developing and keep your dog safe and healthy.

Matt Hubble walking a pitbull
Hybrid Canine owner Matt Hubble doing a private training lesson on the loose leash walk

How do I find a good dog trainer?

When looking for a good dog trainer, it's important to do your research. There are many trainers out there, and not all of them are created equal. Here are some tips for finding a qualified and experienced dog trainer:

Ask your friends and family for recommendations.

Chances are, someone you know has used a dog trainer in the past and can recommend somebody good.

Find well-established dog training accounts on social media.

These trainers have a level of social proof and public accountability. This may seem like an unusual recommendation, but many of the best professional dog trainers are not great at marketing their services. Asking for recommendations from well-known trainers online is a great way to find a local gem that you may otherwise not ever discover.

Look for certification from organizations

There are sites you can search for such as the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) or the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). These organizations require their members to pass an exam and complete ongoing education to stay certified.

Schedule a virtual session with the trainer.

Many trainers offer online sessions which can be great for getting a baseline education on dog training. This will help you gain a better understanding of the qualities to look for in a local trainer who can work with you in a hands-on setting.

Check to see if they have any online dog training videos.

A good trainer will have a wealth of resources available online, including videos and articles. This is a great way to get a feel for their training style and see if it matches your own.

Visit the trainer's facility.

This may be an optional step, but it can be helpful to visit the dog trainer's facility in person. This will give you a good sense of what kind of environment your dog will be working in and whether you feel comfortable with the trainer's methods.

Check online reviews.

Once you've narrowed your search down to a few trainers, be sure to check their online reviews. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from each trainer and help you make the best decision for your dog.

Dog trainer green flags.

Once you've found a few good trainers in your area, it's important to schedule a consultation to learn about their dog training programs see if they're a good fit for you and your dog. Most trainers offer a free consultation, so take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and get to know the trainer better.

A good dog trainer will thoroughly assess your dog's behavior and needs and should ask you many questions about your lifestyle, goals for training, and what you're currently doing to train your dog. They should also have a variety of training methods at their disposal and be able to recommend the best approach for your situation.

They should also be able to explain the rationale for the techniques they propose, and most importantly, be capable of thoroughly educating you as an owner because long-term success relies on dog owners knowing how to keep training their pet after the trainer has gone.

Questions to ask a prospective dog trainer.

If you're considering hiring a professional dog trainer, there are some important questions you should ask before making your decision. Below are just a few of the questions you should ask:

  • How long have you been training dogs?
  • Do you have any formal qualifications or certifications?  
  • What methods do you use to train dogs?
  • Can you provide me with any references?
  • How much does your training program cost?
  • Do you offer any discounts for multiple sessions or referrals?
  • How often will my dog and I need to attend training sessions?
  • What happens if I'm not happy with your services?
  • Do you have any online resources (such as videos or articles) that I can access?

Dog trainer red flags.

So, what should you look for when choosing a dog trainer? Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • The trainer is aggressive or violent with dogs
  • The trainer is unorganized  or does not have a clear plan
  • The training facilities are dirty or unsafe
  • The trainer is not punctual or does not communicate with you clearly
  • The trainer gets easily frustrated and comes to training unprepared
  • The trainer does not offer private lessons or consultation calls
  • Does not ask about your training goals
  • Does not tell you how long they have been training dogs

If you see any of these red flags, it's best to steer clear and find a more qualified professional. Trust your gut - if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Do your research and find a trainer who has a good reputation and who you can trust to help you and your dog achieve success.

How much does good dog training cost?

This is a difficult question to answer because the cost of training will vary depending on where you live, the experience and qualifications of the trainer, and the type of program you choose. This is also largely dependent on the type of training your dog needs. If you have a dog with reactivity or aggression issues, you can expect to pay far more than basic and advanced obedience classes or puppy training. However, most professional dog trainers charge between $100 - $150 per hour for private lessons, and board & train style programs typically cost around $2500 - $5000.

Good dog training should be seen as an investment.

When considering the cost of training, it's important to remember that a good dog trainer can provide you with years of valuable service. Properly trained dogs are easier and less expensive to care for, and can make life much more enjoyable for both you and your pet. So, while investing in good dog training may seem like an initial expense, it's an investment in the long-term health and happiness of your pet.

Many trainers also offer payment plans and financing options, so be sure to ask if this is an option.

What age should your dog be to start working with a trainer?

The short answer is any age. However, you should manage your expectations for how much and what kind of training your pup can do depending on your dog's age. Puppy training classes are usually geared towards dogs of a young age who are less than six months old, while dogs six months and over a year are typically considered mature enough to work on more advanced obedience commands or even off-leash commands.

Of course, these are general guidelines and you should always consult with a professional dog trainer to get their advice on the best training plan for your particular pup. No two dogs are exactly alike, so what might work well for one may not be as successful for another. But overall, it is never too early or too late to start training your dog. And with the right tools and techniques, you can help them become a well-behaved and obedient member of your family.

So, at what age should you start working with a trainer? As soon as possible! And don't worry, there are plenty of programs and classes available for puppies as well as adult dogs. Just make sure to do your research and find a qualified professional dog trainer who can help guide you and your pup on the road to success. Sometimes beginning with private lessons is a great way to decide on the right program for you and your dog.

Common programs offered by dog trainers.

There are many different types of dog obedience training programs that are important for a dog owner to be aware of. Here are some of the most common:

Puppy Training  (aka Puppy Kindergarten)

Most professional trainers offer puppy training programs for dogs who are less than six months old. This type of training is vital for laying the foundation for a well-behaved adult dog. During puppy training, your pup will learn basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down while also getting rid of destructive behavior. They will also learn crate training, how to socialize with other dogs and people, which is an important part of their development.

Obedience Training

Once dogs reach six months of age, they are typically considered mature enough to begin working on more advanced obedience commands. This type of training can be done in a group setting or one-on-one with a trainer. Advanced obedience commands can include things like walking calmly on a leash, coming when called, and staying in a specific spot.

Off-Leash Obedience Training

Dogs who have mastered basic, advanced obedience commands and have a solid foundation can then move on to off-leash training. This type of training allows your dog to respond to commands even when they are not close to you and involves distraction training. It can be done in a group setting or with a private trainer. Off-leash training is a great way to build confidence and trust between you and your dog.

Private Dog Training Lessons

Many dog trainers also offer private one-on-one lessons for dogs who need more individualized attention. This can be a great option for those who are struggling with specific behavior issues or for those who want to train their dog in a more customized way.

Behavior Modification Training

If your dog is exhibiting problem behaviors such as human or dog aggression, then you may need to seek out a trainer who specializes in behavior modification training. This type of training is often very intensive and can require working with the dog for several months. But it is the best way to help correct serious behavioral issues and can be life-saving for both you and your dog.

Should my dog trainer have a facility?

This is a question that many people ask when looking for a dog trainer.  The answer, as with most things in life, is: it depends. Many professional dog trainers do have their training facilities. These can be great because they offer a controlled environment for training and can provide all the necessary tools and equipment. However, it's important to remember that bigger facilities often mean that many dogs are being trained at once and it's important to know which trainer at the facility will be working with your dog.

Should I be concerned if a trainer does not have a facility?

There are many phenomenal trainers out there who don't have their facilities and instead work out of their homes with a smaller clientele base. This allows them to work more intimately with each dog and provide personalized training. In either case, you'll want to work with a trainer that is going to have constant supervision over your pet. Before making your decision, be sure to do your research and find the trainer that is the best fit for you and your dog.

Matt Hubble and tired golden retriever puppy

A good trainer is honest with you.

Dog training is a process and takes time.

Sometimes this is disappointing for the owner. It's important to find a trainer who isn't going to compromise or rush the process at the expense of your dog. A good trainer will be patient and take the time necessary to train your dog correctly. This is crucial for both you and your pet. While some trainers can use techniques that achieve the desired result in a shorter amount of time, these techniques are often not as effective in the long term. When looking for a trainer, be sure to ask about their training methods and how they plan to achieve success with your pet.

Training dogs is more than just training the dog, its also training the owner.

Finding the right dog trainer can seem daunting, but it's important to do your research and take the time necessary to find someone who will be a good fit for both you and your pet. With the right trainer, not only will you have a happy, and obedient dog, but you will also learn a lot about how to properly train and care for your pet.

It's important to remember that investing in dog training is not just an investment into your dog, but an investment into you and your family's future as well.

Looking for Dog Training in Raleigh, NC?

Have you recently adopted a new dog, have a new puppy, or just want to improve your adult dog's life? If you're looking for dog training in Raleigh, NC, look no further than Hybrid Canine. Our team of experienced trainers can help your dog learn how to behave properly and become a well-mannered member of your family. We offer training programs and private lessons to suit your needs and would be happy to discuss our services with you. These can be done in your own home and at your own pace too! Let us help you overcome your dog's behavioral problems and get rid of unwanted behaviors today.

You can learn more about us by contacting us for professional advice or completing our online form. We look forward to talking about dog training with you!

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