As the father of two pit bulls – Jake and Mini — I know how important it is to have well trained dogs. By being both a pet parent and dog trainer, I have a more well-rounded view of how I can help people with their dogs. Over the course of 10 years, I have trained dogs of all shapes and sizes, all ages and breeds. I know that training can be fun and easy once you learn the right way to communicate with your dog.
There are a lot of Fairfield County dog trainers. You want the best for your dog, so it is important for you to find the right dog trainer. If you get to the point your dog has some mis-behaviors you can’t seem to correct, it’s time to call in a professional dog trainer. Your dog is going to be loyally by your side for the next 10+ years, so you want to make sure you overcome any annoying behaviors.
What should you look for?
- Types of dog training. There are many different types of dog training including treats, shock and prong collars and positive reinforcement. First, you need to decide on what philosophy you adhere to (the one that works, right?) Treats can work well on a short-term basis, but unfortunately you don’t always have a treat handy. Treat training is good for tricks and basic obedience, but it is not good for removing unwanted behaviors like barking, jumping, aggression, separation anxiety, etc. Physical training (alpha rolling, pinning, prong collars) may work in some circumstances, but it can worsen aggression in a dog that is already aggressive and can create aggression in timid or fearful dogs. Then there’s the Bark Busters type of training which is based on how dogs naturally communicate and dog psychology. We use voice tones and body language to get your dog to really listen to you and understand what you are saying.
- Behavior problems. What type of dog issues does your dog have? Aggression, incessant barking, separation anxiety or leash pulling? These types of challenging dog behavior problems require you and your trainer to get to the “root” of the problem, because only then can you overcome it. Why is your dog barking incessantly … out of fear, boredom, or attention grabbing? There is always a reason your dog acts as he does. Once the reason is uncovered, you can begin working to correct the behaviors. This usually takes a behavioral therapist which is an added component only certain dog trainer possess.
- Training classes versus in-home training. Training classes are good for the “average” dog and can teach elements of basic obedience like come, sit and stay. However, your dog probably needs individual attention to deal with his/her specific issues. For instance, Bark Busters comes into your home where your dog is most comfortable and where most issues occur, and we address your dog’s specific behaviors. If you want to have a happier home life with your dog, at least some portion of the training should take place in your home.
- Time and patience. Are you 100% committed to training your dog and resolving unwanted behaviors? No matter how good your trainer is, you will need to reinforce the techniques you are taught. Although good dog trainer will change your dog’s behavior immediately, it will take reinforcement on your part.
- Check reviews. In this world of technology, check your trainer’s reviews on sites such as Google and Yelp. This will give you a good idea of what their clients think.
- Find out what type of guarantees the trainer offers. If you don’t see results and you’re doing your homework, do you still have to pay? Many trainers will agree to waive their fees if you don’t see results during your first session or two. What will their ongoing support be like after the first training? What if your dog has new problems down the track, how will they help (phone, in person etc.)?
My best piece of advice is to go with your gut. When the trainer shows up, do you trust his/her system? Is the training going to be easy to catch on to and are you going to have fun? Training your dog should be a blast. Find a method that makes you feel like smiling when you practice.
I hope I have helped you. Finding a good dog trainer can be a daunting task with so many options to choose from but if you do your research, the field will narrow and your choice should be clearer. Good luck!
If you’d like to contact Michael Konstantaras with B ark Busters Fairfield County, click here.