Five Good Reasons to Call a Trainer (None of Which Are Failure)


If you're like me, you grew up thinking that to call a dog trainer was to admit defeat—you were capable of training your dog or you didn't deserve to have one. If you're like me, you're also wrong, because there are lots of good reasons to work with a certified dog trainer (none of which are failure). Here are just a few:

You are...

1. A first-time owner.

Those of us who trained our childhood dogs have a lot to learn when it comes to proper technique and timing. Do you know how to bring a dog to threshold without going over? To properly time cues and rewards? A good trainer can help you master these techniques, setting you and your dog (and your future dogs) up for success.

2. An emotional owner.

Sometimes our desires to do the right thing for our dogs can get in their way. The anxiety and frustration we experience during a difficult session can cause us to react in ways that aggravate the very behavior we want to correct. In these cases, it's best to let a neutral party take the lead.

You have...

3. A young dog.

We all know puppies need lots of training, but what about adolescents and adults? If you've got a young dog, you might be dealing with:

  • changes in behavior since puppyhood
  • a new dog's figuring out the home dynamic

A trainer can evaluate these needs, help you build your bond, and keep your dog on the right track as it ages.

4. Big plans for your dog.

Do you have activities and certifications in mind for your pup? Therapy work, competition, etc. require your dog to be comfortable interacting with and taking direction from new people. Working with a trainer can help you both get started.


Your dog...

5. Exhibits dangerous behavior.

If your dog exhibits behaviors that could put you, him/her, or other dogs and humans in danger, it's best to work with a trained professional. S/he will be equipped with the knowledge to keep you and your dog safe as you work to bring about more appropriate behavior.


The future of dog training is positive, rejecting fear and shame for dogs and handlers alike. That future is here, and working with a VSPDT can be a wonderful way to build your bond with your dog and bring you both to the next level of your training—no failure required.

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Positively Expert: Jenna Ray

Jenna Ray, pet blogger at, advocates for positive awareness of power breeds and rescue dogs by sharing her story and those of other animal lovers.


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