(WTTV/WXIN) — Whether you rescue a dog from a shelter or buy a puppy from a breeder, you’re likely to need some doggie behavior correction.
And if you’re tired of chewed shoes, stained carpets and loud embarrassing encounters at the park, it might be time to turn to an expert.
The Better Business Bureau has some guidelines to help you find the right dog trainer for your furry friend.
First, consider the type of training you need. If most of the bad behavior is happening in your home, you need to find a trainer who will do an in-home consultation in the same setting. If your dog struggles on walks, like pulling on the leash or lunging at people or other dogs, you’ll probably want to meet at a park or attend a class with other people and dogs present.
Second, look for a trainer who uses reward-based training to change behavior. The American Kennel Club is a good place to start. It has a webpage dedicated to dog training and finding professionals.
Before you contact someone, it’s a good idea to identify what’s triggering the bad behavior. That will allow you to research trainers knowledgeable in behavior, learning theory, canine communication and mechanics.
There are also some certifications you can look for when looking for a trainer. Those include Certification Councils for Professional Dog Trainers, the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and the Pet Professional Accreditation Board.
Before you commit to anything, the BBB says it’s a good idea to set up an interview with the trainer so you can ask questions about their methods and techniques, as well as what they charge. That’s also when you can request proof of their most current certification and what kinds of cases they’ve worked on before.
Don’t be shy about asking those questions. You’re protecting yourself and your pet.
Of course, you can always ask friends and family about any dog trainers they’ve worked with before. If you really just need a starting point, the BBB has a search page on their website where you can find accredited trainers near you.