Looking for a good dog trainer can be difficult and frustrating. Every city in the country is loaded with them and how do you know which to choose. It usually starts with an internet search and most likely you will call one of the first trainers that pop up on a Google search.
The problem with that is that you are calling someone who most likely spends a lot of money on a fancy website and marketing that site on such search engines as Google.
Unfortunately for every good trainer there are 20 bad ones and the great ones are even tougher to find. Close to 40 % of my clients have already been to at least one other trainer and many have spent thousands trying to fix their dog’s problems only to find that nothing has changed or their behavior is worse. Why is that?
I’ll tell you why. Most dog trainers are better salesmen than dog trainers. They will tell about all of their accomplishments and their education and how they have developed some new top secret formula that they put a name to. They will tell you how awesome they are. They will point to all of their awesome reviews and testimonials, which are usually fake and made up to get higher website placement. So all of this makes it more difficult for the dog owner to find a truly qualified dog trainer and behaviorist, and yes you want both.
So how can you find one? Very simple, their own dogs and their client’s dogs. Ask to meet the trainer in public with their dog off leash and not using any tools. Ask to see a few of their client’s dogs, also in a busy public place. If someone claims to be training and selling $50,000 executive protection dogs to very important people ask to see those dogs and speak to the clients. You will weed out many of the frauds very quick. Don’t accept seeing videos of aggressive dog transformations that only show the after and not the before. These are just a few things that will help you in your search for a reputable dog trainer, and just remember that the great ones don’t have to tell you that they are great at what they do. Their results and reputation will speak for them.
Another factor that many consider is pricing. Too many people will choose a trainer for their low prices, and most likely the prices are very low for a reason. Forget about the big chain pet store programs, that’s not even dog training. I won’t go any further about that. What I see many times, especially in the Nashville area where I operate, are trainers that cater to the wealthy. They make their prices outrageously high because if it costs more it must be better, right? WRONG. These trainers know that wealthy people are willing to pay and they take advantage of that, when if they charged according to their ability they would have chain pet store prices. Now I know this is going to offend a lot of trainers, but I don’t really worry about that, because I know the good trainers out there won’t be offended and they know exactly what I am talking about. My whole point to this is there are great trainers in every part of the country and I am fortunate to know many of them. It is up to you the dog owner to do a little homework and get the most out of your money for your four legged family member. Good luck.