At Compassionate Animal Care, we encourage all our patients’ owners to train their puppies/dogs, but who needs training and how do you pick the right trainer?
Dog training builds trust, builds the relationship, and is good for the dog’s mental and physical wellbeing. As we head into 2020, make training your dog one of your most important New Year’s resolutions!
When you start training, what are things you need to consider when choosing both a dog trainer, and the style of dog training.
Dog Training – Who Needs It?
All dogs would benefit from training and socialization as puppies; this is the ideal time. If you have a pupply, start training now if the puppy is in good health. Don’t wait until they are adults, when their behaviors (good or bad!) are already learned/ingrained. Puppies learn the most at ages 6-16 weeks. The hard part is training and socializing puppies safely, before they are fully vaccinated!
Puppy training and socialization can be done safely in a number of ways:
- Socializing with friends or family members in the puppy’s own home
- Socializing with friends, family members, and their adult, healthy, vaccinated dogs in their homes (as long as no history of parvo or distemper virus infections)
- Working with a trainer in the puppy’s own home, or places that are not frequented by unknown dogs, etc.
If your dog is an adult, has behavioral issues, or you did not adopt your dog until later in life, it will be more difficult to fully train them. Older dogs do have learned/ingrained behaviors – the phrase “old dog, new tricks” comes to mind – but training can still help you alter some of those bad habits if you find the right trainer.
How Do I Choose The Right Dog Trainer?
Choosing a good dog trainer is essential to success. ALWAYS choose a trainer that does not use negative reinforcement, punishments, or physically harmful training tools, such as choke collars, pinch collars, shock collars, etc. Yelling, yanking on the leash etc., are also harmful to your developing puppy’s emotional and mental health.
ALWAYS research the trainer’s education, reviews, and meet with them and observe their training style BEFORE you commit to paying for a package deal. If you are not comfortable with how the trainer talks, acts, responds to dogs or people – WALK AWAY.
Ask questions of your friends, family members, and your veterinarian. If they recommend someone, ask if they would allow that trainer to train their dog? Ask the trainer how they try to ensure the safety of your puppy, if vaccinations are not complete.
A good trainer should:
- Want to know the physical status of your puppy
- Ask about your puppy’s vaccinations
- Ask if your vet has stated they are in good health, or if there are any health concerns.
You should address any health concerns BEFORE you start training.
Once you are comfortable with your choice of trainer, work with them to develop a trust-based bond with your puppy that will last a lifetime.
Set yourself up for success from the beginning if possible. If working with an adult/older dog, you can still build that trust and improve the bond; doing that will improve the dog’s behavior and how it reacts to you and what you ask of it.
PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT YOUR DOG IS PHYSICALLY IN GOOD HEALTH PRIOR TO DISCUSSING TRAINING OR BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION AS PHYSICAL ILLNESS, PAIN, ETC CAN AFFECT YOUR PETS MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you have any health concerns, or would like to schedule a wellness check prior to starting training, please contact us online or call 480.774.6995 to book an appointment at your home or at our clinic – whatever suits you and your pet best!