January is National Train Your Dog Month, an event launched by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. The organization wants dog owners to know how positive reinforcement, plus training, can help Fido become a better member of the family.
If you are not an experienced trainer, you may want to turn to a professional for assistance. There are scores of dog trainers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – both individual trainers and franchised training operations – that can make your dog a better behaved companion. But how do you know which trainer is right for your pet?
Here are some things to look for in a potential trainer. He or she:
- Is confident, patient and kind but can be firm at the same time.
- Wants training to be fun for you and your pet.
- Knows that not all dogs are alike and respects individual canine personalities.
- Is up to date on current training techniques but does not use harsh methods, such as electric shock collars.
- Asks plenty of questions about how your dog interacts with you and your family.
Watch how the potential trainer relates to your dog. Some will have the ability to connect with your pooch instantly, often getting down to the level of the dog and talking to them. If the dog reacts positively, wagging and trying to lick the trainer, that is a good sign.
Realize that the professional trainer will probably be training you too. As the owner, you are an important part of the training process and must devote the necessary time and energy to the project. And remember that training is ongoing. You and Fido will both continue learning long after January has passed.