Finding the Right Dog Trainer

Tips for Finding the Right Dog Trainer

Choose the right dog trainer by considering your pet’s age, breed, and personality, ensuring their specific needs are prioritized for successful training.

Before embarking on the seemingly impossible task of finding the right trainer for your dog, there are a number of factors to consider.

Age and Background

If you get a dog as a puppy, there is always fundamental training required to establish a solid foundation for their life, which is a process that develops over time. Rescue dogs, on the other hand, might come with some behavioral issues stemming from past experiences, which often can be something which was not positive. If you know your rescue dog’s age and at least some of their background story, it can make it easier to search for a trainer that specializes in these specific areas.

Breed Characteristics

Dog breeds vary when it comes to temperament and trainability. For example, Border Collies and German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and may be easier to train than a Siberian Husky or Beagle, who tend to be a bit more of a challenge due to their independent natures.


Just like people, dogs have their own individual personalities. Some are outgoing and eager to please while others are more on the shy side or a bit stubborn. Determining what type of personality your dog has can be the first step to finding a trainer that understands your dog’s disposition.

Research Potential Trainers

Once you have determined what type of training your dog requires, it’s time to start your research to find a trainer that meets your needs and expectations.

Get Recommendations

Ask for recommendations from people you know such as friends, family members, your dog groomer or veterinarian, which may provide valuable insight into the effectiveness and reputation of any trainer you might be considering.

Check Credentials

You want a trainer who is reputable and well qualified to take on the job of helping you train your dog. Look for those who are certified in their field by reputable organizations such as the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) or the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) to ensure they have the knowledge and skill to train your dog the right way.

Review Their Methods

Different trainers use different techniques which can vary from positive reinforcement with rewards like praise and treats to unkind methods you won’t approve of. That’s why it’s critical to choose the best possible trainer you can find, and one that includes you in the training process every step of the way. Training is not just for your pooch, it’s to help you better understand and communicate with your dog so you can enjoy a great bonding experience and positive relationship.

Visit Their Facility

Once you narrow down your choices, it’s advisable to visit the dog trainer’s facility to observe a session if at all possible. Pay attention to how they treat their clients and what methods they are employing to train the dogs. Other factors to consider include cleanliness of their place of business, the trainer’s overall demeanor and attitude and how the dog’s they are training are responding during the session.

Tailoring to Meet Your Dog’s Needs

When considering a trainer, observe how they initially approach or interact with your dog to see how your dog responds to them. Make sure they offer training services that address your dog’s specific issues and that your dog is not fearful or intimidated, which could make matters worse.


Puppies require basic socialization skills to start with followed eventually by obedience training. Make sure your trainer is not moving too fast or slow for your pups learning abilities. Positive reinforcement is critical at the early stages of development to ensure a solid foundation that helps your puppy to grow into a well-adjusted adult dog.

Adult Dogs

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can if you have the right trainer who connects with your dog, so your dog responds positively to their techniques.


Oftentimes, rescue dogs face unique challenges such as fearfulness which can display as aggression, or anxiety, which is common. Choose a trainer who is experienced with the various issues rescue dogs face and one that has patience and understanding to go at a pace that is productive and results in a positive experience for your rescue pooch.

Difficult Breeds

Some breeds are more difficult than others and if you have a dog that is a mixed breed oftentimes characteristics of both breeds need to be addressed. A trainer who understands the breed-specific traits and can adapt their training methods accordingly will be necessary for success.

Choosing a trainer that is right for your dog requires much careful consideration to make sure your pet’s needs are their top priority. By taking your time to research, and observe how a potential trainer greets and interacts with your dog once you do decide, can be the difference between a successfully trained and happy dog or a situation that requires a different trainer or training method.

Remember, your participation with patience, consistency and positive reinforcement will help to support any training you obtain for your dog. By making the right decision you can set your furry bestie up for success to live a happy life as your loyal companion.

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