City Living Dog Services

Bringing people and their canine family members together through CONFIDENCE, PATIENCE and CONSISTENCY.

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How to pick a dog trainer

Posted by Mike on March 23, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Hi everyone.  This is my first Blog post.  I thought I would write about something that anyone who views my website could use.


If you're here it's probably because you need help with your dog.  First of all, your dog thanks you for recognizing this and looking for assistance.  Sometimes that is the hardest part!!!


But how to choose the right dog trainer? There are so many out there.  So many tactics.  So many beliefs and styles.  How do you know where to start so you make the best decision for your dog and you?


I could get into a long list of different types of training styles, tools, tips, philosophies..... but I won't.  That is not my place to analyze other people's beliefs or philosophies.  I have a much simpler way of finding a good dog trainer.


Meet his/her dog.


Can they handle their own dog?  Does their dog have manners?  Is their dog someone that you would want to be around?


Some dog trainers put so much focus on how many certificates or titles their dogs or themselves have.  Those certificates certainly look nice, and give credibility in those particular events.  But can the dog walk on a leash?  Can the dog be gentle around children? Does the dog hang out like a normal passenger in the car, or does it need to be restrained or put in a crate?


A million framed certificates on the wall means nothing if the dog is not well balanced.


I know of some trainers that have excelled in agility, obedience, and utility.  But their dogs are so full of anxiety and other problems, that they can not bring their dogs in public without there being an issue, or a fight.  If they even bring the dogs in public, or go on walks.  To me, that is no way to own or live with a dog.


My previous dogs, Maverick and Sienna, were almost always with me.  They came with me all over the city and suburbs.  When in the car, they were excellent co-pilots.  When they were at home while the wife or I had to work, they were trustworthy and never destroyed anything (except a made up bed once in a while).  They lived peacefully with cats, and other creatures.  Their leash, outside and home manners were impeccable.  I never really thought about it being an option.  I always figured if the dogs want to be part of the family, they must act appropriately.  For a lot of their training I didn't know what I was doing, I was just following my gut and had high expectations that they met and sometimes exceeded.


My new dog, Quantum, is shaping up to be the same way.  He is being taught all facets of being well behaved.  I expect him to do all these tasks very well because he is a reflection of me and my training.  If I had an out of control dog, I would expect my clients' trust in me to go way down.  But since I have a well mannered, respectful, calm, confident, patient canine, this gives my current and potential clients a reason to use my services and to stay with me.


In summary, the best advice I can give you on selecting a dog trainer is to meet their dog.  That will speak for itself.


Thank you for reading this.  I look forward to your comments!


-Coach Mike




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3 Comments

Reply Selena R
11:00 AM on March 26, 2014 
I love this article. Thanks to write this. I am writing from Argentina, otherwise I would have you train my dogs and me! It is so simple yet so smart. My son hired a dog trainer that wanted to use clocker. I didn't understand clicker and neither do my dogs. The trainer made me feel like I was stupid. I wish you could come to South America! I love your dogs and your YouTubes!
Reply Edwin
10:16 PM on June 11, 2014 
Brilliant point!
Reply VirgilIsoky
12:09 AM on June 16, 2017