- There is so much information out there…how do you choose?There is no need to actually meet your trainer but a short discussion on the phone can reveal your common goals and their knowledge. Please respect your consultant or trainers time. Many people are looking for ‘quick fixes’ or free information. Please provide a brief scenario so that we can discuss some options and then book an appointment.
Here are some questions we would suggest:
- What type of science based training have you as the trainer received? Have you had to write any examinations for these courses?
- How often do you train groups of people and their dogs? How often do your clients continue in classes with you?
- How often do you upgrade your training knowledge?
- Who are some of your mentors?
- How many dogs do you have and do they have any ongoing issues?
- What do you teach to do if the dog does something you do not like? For example: Dog jumps up on counter to grab food…
- Do you recommend certain training tools?
- Can you explain the science behind Classical and Operant conditioning?
- How does threshold work in dog training?
- What is shaping a behaviour versus luring a behaviour?
- What does it mean to generalize a behaviour?
- What do you use for corrections in behaviour?
Remember: Most trainers are NOT applied behaviour consultants and have not studied the in depth material provided by the scientific community on dog behaviour. They have not participated in case studies and do not have experience with serious behaviours like fear and aggression.
NOTE: Although we like the idea of associations, many of these have you pay a fee, study for an exam that you pass and then you provide reference letters. Some of these people have never trained an actual group of people with dogs! We suggest meeting their dogs, watching their videos, reviewing the material they present and go and watch a class. They should be committed to helping you to grow your relationship with your dog, have you fully understanding what you are reinforcing and HAVING FUN. Their dogs should be able to relax and not show anxiety during training. Trainers should train you to work with your dog, not train it for you. And remember, training style is purely subjective but the science behind how mammals learn is not.