This is an advice column that I wrote for the Acorn newspaper in Simi Valley.
I recently adopted a fun, happy, high energy, 6 month old lab that does not seem to have any prior training. HELP! We need training! There seem to be lots of Dog Trainers out there. How do I pick one that is right for us?
~ Fred and Charger
Dear Fred and Charger,
You are right. There are tons of dog trainers to choose from as well as different methods of dog training techniques. Positive reinforcement methods of training are the most current and most popular method to train your dog by. These techniques include using positive reinforcement and rewards with food, verbal praise and touch to let your dog know when they have exhibited the right behavior. It is a win win situation. Your dog will be a happy dog due to the instant gratification process, you are happy due to the quick results, and it’s a pleasant, fun way to bond with your dog.
Most positive reinforcement trainers hold a certificate or have some form of training or education under their belt. Locating a trainer can be done by going online and googling local dog trainers in your area. You can also find dog trainers on the APDT (Association Pet Dog Trainer) web site. Your vet may have local references to good trainers, and your friendly neighborhood pet store may have business cards or know of some good trainers they can refer you to as well. After you have narrowed it down to a few, make the call and see who shares similar values for training methods you would like to use. For example, ask them how long they have been a trainer for and where they have acquired their experience. Ask if they are certified, and if they use positive reinforcement or treats to train with. You can even ask them what kind of tools they would recommend that you teach your dog to walk with. No pull harnesses are the nicest tools to train your dog to walk nice, by the way.
These are just a few tips to get you on the right path to a Pawsative Dog Training experience. If you have a Dog Training or behaviorial questions you would like to send over to Rover, please send us an email at SendRover@sbcglobal.net.
Thank you for sending your questions on over,
President and Founder of Send Rover on Over Inc. est. 2003
CPDT, KA, Behavior Consultant, RN, CGC Evaluator, BS (student), ABA with Companion Canines