Do you love your dog, but wish you could change some of his behaviors? Does he jump up on guests as a way to greet them? Is he prone to having accidents in the house? If you can answer affirmatively to any of these questions, you might be a prime candidate for professional dog training. Some owners, in a fit of desperation and not knowing what to do, have given away their dogs because of behavior problems, but this isn’t necessary or helpful to you or the dog. Instead, hire a trainer and eliminate the undesirable behaviors.
Professional dog trainers have been trained themselves to use gentle methods to teach dogs proper and acceptable behaviors. Whether you have an outside or inside dog, trainers will be able to help you teach him good habits and eliminate bad habits. When you first meet your dog’s trainer, make sure you tell him the specific behaviors you would like corrected. For instance, if your dog can’t be controlled on walks, or if he greets visitors in a way you don’t like, make sure your trainer knows that. Always mention accidents in the house, as well, and any other behavior problems, even if they don’t seem like a big deal at the time. Don’t worry about being judged or seen as a bad pet owner. Trainers understand that not everyone is equipped to handle pet behavior problems, and will simply be glad to help you.
A trained dog leads not only to happier owner, but to a happier life for him, as well. Also, guests will be happy to come over, and not have to worry about being jumped on or having to deal with other behaviors from your dog. Once your trainer and your dog have had a session, your trainer will be able to tell you about commands and tasks that your dog has learned or is in the process of learning so you can use the same commands at home. This will help maintain consistency. Always ask any questions you have, and take copious notes. This way you will be clear on what your trainer is trying to accomplish and won’t confuse your dog by using inconsistent methods of training and teaching at home. If the first trainer you hire doesn’t seem to mesh well with your dog, don’t be afraid to hire another one; it’s not about the trainer, it’s about your dog. If your dog isn’t having a good experience, he won’t learn and the training is in vain. Always be clear on which commands to use for which behaviors and treat your dog when he deserves one.
To find a reputable dog trainer your best bet is to start with your veterinarian’s office when your dog has a check-up. If you see dogs in the waiting room who are very well-behaved, ask their owners where they received training. However, asking your veterinarian herself might be the best idea.