Xena is a fantastic dog, and we are blessed to be working with her. Victoria is so right: every dog deserves to be taught using positive reinforcement training. Sadly that's not the case, and people all over the world are being scammed by trainers who use force, fear and intimidation to teach new behaviors or to suppress existing behaviors. If you are looking for a fantastic trainer who trains positively, make sure you check out positively.com first to find a VSPDT near you.
But if you find yourself outside the VSPDT service area which is growing daily by leaps and bounds, here are 8 essential questions to ask every trainer you interview:
1. What is your training philosophy?
2. How do you go about getting my dog to repeat a behavior?
3. How do you go about getting my dog to stop repeating a behavior?
4. Do you carry liability insurance?
5. Do you maintain a current business license?
5. What are the pros and cons of each training tool you might use with my dog?
6. Would you share a copy of your code of ethics for my review?
7. What degrees and certifications do you hold, and how do they apply to dog training?
8. What and when was the last continuing education class you attended.
And finally, do a gut-check with every answer you hear. So often we ignore the early warning signs and red-flags that speak so clearly to us. No Pain, Just Gain. You too can learn to Train Humane.
Lisa Matthews Ed.S., CPDT-KA, VSPDT Owner of Pawsitive Practice Training in Johns Creek, GA
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