Dog Training Denver- What to look for when searching for a trainer.

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These days dogs have become more like our children. Go to any watering hole in any major metropolitan city and you will find 20 and 30 somethings socializing over a cocktail or pint while showing pictures of their dogs on their smart phones. Oh how times have changed indeed. We want the best for our dogs or our fur children but how can we make sure we are getting the best information available. The internet provides a huge resource for people these days for news, updates and information on any subject you can think of but the problem lies in accuracy. You can google any subject and get tons of results but there is a lack of credibility. Anyone can start a site or blog and you will find endless information that may be based on their limited experience or opinions.

Unfortunately dog training is a fairly un-standardized industry and finding a real professional who is accredited, licences and bonded may be tougher than you think. Who should you ask when you get a new dog or puppy and you need to get some training advice or find a class? Start with your veterinarian. Your doctor should have some resources for local trainers in the area who offer classes or training advice. Make sure you find out if they know the trainer or if it is just a brochure they had laying around.

There are a lot of people who print business cards, open businesses and offer services in the training world who are “self-taught”. This means their training methods, philosophy and techniques are not held accountable by any organization or community. There surely are lots of people who are skilled with animals and successful at achieving training goals but their methods may have short term results and long term consequences if they don’t understand the process or the impact their techniques can have on a learning dog.  Be cautious of friendly advice from neighbors, co-workers and friends. I hear people all the time tell me a friend or co-worker swears by this collar or technique. What is right for some may not be right for all and could be down right BAD advice.

Television has warped generations of minds to replace reading and re-search with a quick fix experience. Just because someone is on T.V. doesn’t mean their advice is credible. No one is more infamous than the self proclaimed Dog Whisperer. Many of us watch these shows and then go out and try to implement the lessons on our own dog. Cesar Milan is an example of a person implying Traditional Training methods that focuses on punishment and appeasement gestures known as “learned helplessness” in the dog world. Avoid implementing techniques you see on television without consulting a professional. If you chose to watch a dog training show listen for key worlds like positive reinforcement rather than leadership or “he knows” and “he thinks”.

What to look for. True dog training professionals are well know in their community by other members of the dog community. Ask around at local pet shops (not big chain stores, they train their own “fast food” internal trainers), animal hospitals, rescue organizations and daycare or boarding facilities. Then when you have their info, do your research. See if they have predication from any organization or group. Look on Yelp and review based sites for other clients un-biased opinions. The ONLY nationally accredited organization for dog trainers is the Council for Certified Pet Dog Trainers and they have a listing of accredited professionals in all 50 states. www.ccpdt.org

Support local accredited trainers who implement positive training techniques and you won’t regret it. Dogs need education at all stages of life, find a trainer in your area to give your adult dog a refresher and raise his game.

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