The right trainer

With the growing number of trainers in the country, how do you determine the right trainer and training for your dog? Here are some tips that might help you with `puppytraining’.First and foremost, stay away from puppy training at a boarding facility. Dogs area not good at generalizations and cannot come back and apply all the learning to a new environment. So a puppy toilet trained at a boarding-training facility, may not be well-behaved at your home. A puppy that listens to a trainer may not pay heed to your commands. Hence look for training that includes you in the process.
While at training always insist on doing a trial of the commands in which the dog would be trained.You need to know how to do it so th at you can go home and practice. Ensure that the trainer has got you familiar with the right way of doing it.
Your trainer has to address more than obedience issues in your dog. Your trainer has to guide your pet through toilet training, bite inhibition, handling of fears, socialization and environmental training. The latter is training a dog on how to be in different environments -like a friend’s house, a busy road, at a pet friendly café etc.
Your trainer has to use methods you are comfortable with.They have to be humane and gentle. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the amount of pressure on your dog, withdraw your dog from the session and have a conversation with the trainer. If your trainer is not flexible to more humane meth ods and believes there is only one way to do something, then you might want to look for another trainer. There are new ways of training dogs and putting a dog in a choke chain or spike collar are no more necessary. So look for trainers who are up to date on training methods and are not using such methods.
Do not leave your dog unattended with your trainer till you have enough confidence in him or her. The first few encounters have to be completely supervised, irrespective of what the trainer stays. You need to ensure your dog is in safe hands and until that trust is built you have the right to watch, at least from a distance.
In addition to obedience, you should have a talk with the trainer on teaching your dog to handle Diwali, thunderstorms and other irrational fears that he may develop. You may at some point have to travel. So talk to your trainer about crate training as well.
Have your trainer oversee at least one socialization session and give you guidance specific to your dog on how to socialize your dog. The formula is not the same for all dogs, just as we humans do not greet everyone the same way and don’t have the same preference in who we chose to greet. Some dogs need to take it slow while some are social butterflies.
Your trainer should also work with your vet’s inputs on what your dog’s diet needs are; how many hours of sleep he might need, how many minutes of walk a day etc. Your behaviourist should also give you insight into whether you should neuter/spay your dog and if so when.
Look at the trainer/behaviourist as a family coach. Everything about your dog should be at your trainer’s finger tips or at least in a file so that the puppy sessions are tailor made for your puppy, his breed characteristics and his individual traits. In addition your trainer needs to be available for emergency consultations. As long as your trainer cares for your dog and you care for your dog, you will be fine.
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