Post # 1
I feel silly asking this question – but how do you, specifically, go about finding a good dog trainer. Or, if you found one, how did you find them?
I’ve been trying word of mouth – from all my dog-owner friends… but no one has the same dog-needs I do.
I tried talking to the shelter we rescued her from (we did one training session and I talked to the trainer about the dog specifically) and she wasn’t much help (other than saying, wait for awhile until the dog gets more comfortable).
I’ve talked to local pet stores – they offer training – and, of course, say their’s is the best….
I’ve been looking on yelp and not really finding much help there….
Just curious if anyone in the hive has any luck… or if it’s just trial and error until you find someone that works.
My biggest concern is having my dog and me start to learn an ineffective method or in a training environment that’s not helpful – thus setting back my dog’s progress.
Post # 3
We have this issue too. My parents live a quarter mile from one of the top dog training faculities in the world, that is where we have taken our other dogs before but now we live too far from there for it to be useful. We have had our dog for almost 2 years but he really needs training more than we have figured out. But other than Petsmart, we haven’t been able to find anyone to help us train him.
Post # 4
I would contact a local AKC-affiliated dog club, they should be able to provide you with recommendations. http://www.akc.org/clubs/search/index.cfm
Even if they do not offer training, they can make recommendations for trainers. Don’t be afraid to contact a conformation club for help finding an obedience trainer either, many of the people in these clubs take part in multiple activities.
And don’t worry if you have a mixed breed or rescue and you’re contacting a pure-bred club; they should be happy to help out all dog owners.
I would not go to a petstore training class. Those classes are very basic and the trainers don’t know how to deal with different types of dogs. You want to find someone with real experience training a variety of different dog personalities and issues.
Post # 5
You could try here: http://www.apdt.com/petowners/ts/default.aspx
When you do find a place you can always ask to sit in on a class (without your dog). It’s usually a pretty good way to figure out if you like their methods, how the class is run, etc.
Post # 6
I actually met one by chance at a dog park! Turned out to be the second best happenstance meeting of my life (the first best happenstance meeting of my life was, of course, FI!!) I second the suggestions to check with akc or other local rescues if word of mouth is not working out. Are there any breed-specific rescues in your area? Even if they can’t help you directly, I can all but guarantee they will know of someone who can 🙂
Post # 7
I actually called our vet. I also called the vet when I needed a dog walker. I figured since our vet is so great with our dog, he would know who to suggest and each time so far it has been great!
Post # 8
We trained our dog at Petsmart right when he got him at 6 months old. The younger they start the better.
Post # 9
Can you post in the local boards to see if someone there can give you a recommendation?
I used a family referral for our first dog, but my second had a lot of issues and need specialized help so I started talking to friends who had some of the same issues and found an amazing trainer!
Post # 10
I would check with your vet. Let them know what you want out of a trainer (obedience vs aggression vs chewing, etc.) and they should be able to point you in the right direction. You can always check up on a site like Yelp to make sure the person they recommended is reviewed favorably by others.
Post # 11
@Westwood: I agree, look on the APDT web site and see who is in your area. Meet with them before you take the dog and see if you like them. Sit in on a class or two and see if you like the way they work with the people and the dogs. It’s not the trainers job to train your dog but to show you how to train your dog. They only have you and your dog for a very short time every week but you have them 24/7.
Post # 12
I actually called a rescue. They generally have good information about trainers that have specialties like aggression, fear, separation anxiety…whatever. We have a border collie, so we called a border collie rescue for their input on which trainer had worked a lot with the breed and aggression problems that had good reviews and feedback about this type of dog training demands. I’d start there!