Until my first job as a dog trainer, I had never even talked to a dog trainer, much less hired one. Most pet owners nowadays have plenty of access to dog training shows on TV or books to read about dog training, but often it is very challenging to figure out what to do with your own dog’s training. This is why professional dog trainers are here to help! But what is it actually like to hire a dog trainer? How do you know what to expect from private lessons or a dog training class?
By the beginning of your first lesson, your trainer should have you sign a contract. The contract should include, at minimum, how many lessons you are purchasing, the time length of each lesson, and how much the lessons cost; it should also include a cancellation policy just in case you have to cancel a lesson. Be sure to get a copy of the contract with the trainer’s signature too: the contract protects you just as much as it protects the trainer!
Trainers nearly always ask for the full payment upfront on the training package you are signing up for. This demonstrates to the trainer that you are committed to completing lessons successfully. It also guarantees the trainer will hold your timeslot open for the duration of your lessons. If it is cost-prohibitive to pay for all the lessons upfront, though, don’t be afraid to ask the trainer ahead of time about a partial payment plan; most trainers are willing to be flexible in order to help you and your dog succeed!
The a dog trainer's job is actually not to train dogs, but to teach people: often dogs will learn quickly with the trainer, but that doesn’t mean your dog will continue doing the behaviors for you after the trainer leaves. An effective dog trainer will be focused on making sure you will be successful at training your dog. To this end, your trainer should leave you with clear written homework. Your trainer should also be reachable between lessons, but communications may be limited to emails and texts outside of regular business hours. Your trainer should also make sure that your dog’s overall training goals are clearly laid out; often you will find this within the written class description on the trainer’s website, or the trainer will provide you with a written outline and clearly defined milestones. Dog trainers can never and should never guarantee performance of the dog; all dogs are different in their learning styles and speed and no one can accurately predict how quickly they will learn the skills you teach.
But remember, despite all the talk about contracts and professionalism, we cannot forget that dog training should be fun! You and your dog should both look forward to your next training lesson; for your dog, training should be the most engaging and exciting time of his week! You should be able to leave any training session having learned something new about your dog that will enhance your relationship.
What is the most fun you’ve had in training with your dog? Comment below to let us know how dog training lessons have helped you!
2/28/2022 11:58:26 am
It really helped when you talked about dog trainers and what to expect from a professional one! A few weeks ago, my mom adopted a dog, but we came to realize that he is crazy! My mom's dog has eaten her shoes and almost bites one of my cousins, so I'll be sure to help mom find a dog trainer with your tips! I appreciate your advice on reviewing a dog trainer's online presence before hiring!
3/9/2022 01:47:50 am
You made a good point when you wrote that a dog trainer's responsibility is actually to teach pet owners, not to train dogs. This made me think that my dog and I should train together. I will look for a facility near my place that offers dog training program so we can start the learning process.
3/12/2022 12:04:39 am
I found it interesting when you said the majority of dog trainers concentrate on teaching basic obedience and house manners, with more experienced trainers specializing in advanced training techniques and ideas. I used to think differently about this and now it makes more sense. What you said about dog obedience was really interesting to me.
6/22/2022 04:10:48 am
Private dog training sessions are one-on-one lessons with a dog trainer in which you and your dog are the only ones in the room. If your trainer has a physical company site, these private lessons can be held in your house or at a dog training facility. Private dog training lessons provide a great deal of schedule freedom. Your dog trainer will build a unique training plan for you and your dog based on the things you wish to learn, rather than following a standard curriculum.
7/8/2022 06:10:50 am
I want to make sure that I train my dog properly. It makes sense that working with a dog trainer might be a good idea. That seems like a good way to ensure that he learns to be obedient and well behaved.
9/16/2022 01:37:58 pm
Thanks so much for talking about what a dog trainer can help with. My aunt just got a new dog and she wants to take care of it the best she can. She's been looking into sending it to a professional dog trainer to ensure the dog is well-behaved and doesn't get confused at too many things.
10/17/2022 07:30:12 pm
I appreciate you saying that the trainer anticipates the same amount of deference from you. I'm adopting a puppy. I wish to sign up for the certified dog trainer courses.
I totally agree when you said that the trainer has to arrive on time at your home or the facility whether they will be handling group dog training classes or individual ones. I hope that I find the best one here in Cranstone, Rhode Island because I will finally get a pug this December. It has been my dream to have my own pet dog ever since I lived on my own, and I want it to be trained to keep it from misbehaving in my home.
12/21/2022 03:02:09 pm
I love how you talk about the importance of finding a dog trainer that acts professionally. My aunt just got a new dog and she wants to make sure she takes as good care of it as it needs. She wants to make sure he's trained properly as her first step but she works so she's been looking into taking him to a professional trainer to help her out.
1/13/2023 03:53:42 pm
I like how you mentioned that different factors of pet behavior could be taught and trained. Last night, my cousin told me that his dog is intelligent. He planned to enroll his dog in an obedience dog training program to achieve better communication and obedience traits. He asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to consider. Thanks to this instructive article, I'll tell him they can consult a trusted dog training program lesson as they can provide more information about the training process.
2/28/2023 03:18:54 pm
It's good to know that the trainer should have a contract. My brother told me last night on the phone about how he wants to have his golden retriever go to professional dog training classes, so he wants to make sure he finds the right one to go to. I'll pass these tips along to him as he searches for a dog training professional.
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Elizabeth Morgan, trainer and owner of Alabama Dog Academy, has always found leash walking to be the most fun behavior to train.