How To Know Which Dog Training Service Is Right For You?

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Deciding which dog training service is right for you and your dog can be a difficult decision. We all want the best for our dogs and we want to make sure we're getting the best training possible. I'm here to help you figure out how to do just that.

There are six things to keep in mind when you're searching for the right dog training service.

  1. Owner
  2. Dog
  3. Money Available
  4. Schedule
  5. Trainer
  6. Training Options

Okay, so what do I mean by all of the terms above?

Owner

How talented are you at training compared to the issue(s) your dog has? Another way of asking is this: on a scale of one to 10 (10 = professional dog trainer and one = complete newbie to the world of dogs), how would your rate your dog training skills? This is important because it impacts the type of training you can do, as well as the type of trainer you'll want to work with.

Dog

How difficult/severe would you rate your dog's issue(s)? On a scale of one to 10 (10 = only a professional trainer can handle and train and one = anyone can own this dog without serious issues arising), how difficult/severe is your dogs issue(s)?

Money

The fact of the matter is that training costs money. Good training costs more money than bad training and good trainers cost more than bad trainers. With that said, there are some trainers who charge a lot, but provide little value (keep that in mind). Also, doing a certain training because its the cheapest is probably not the wisest decision. Here's why. 

If you do cheap training, you're probably going to end up with a "bad" dog overall, but one that knows how to sit when you're holding a treat in your hands. It's "bad" because it still has the bad behavior that we were hoping to get rid of. In essence, you've spent money on teaching your dog how to sit, but not on fixing the problem behavior. And what that really means is that you spent money on the cheapest training option you could find, but after that training your dog still has the same issues it started out with... which means... YOU DIDN'T SAVE ANY MONEY!! You just gave somebody a little bit of money to not fix your problem. The amount of money you're willing to spend on your dog's training absolutely is factor in what trainer and training services you select.

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Schedule

Basically, with group class you have no flexibility and with private training you do have flexibility as far as the day and time you can schedule your sessions. You'll also want to make sure that your trainer is available on the days/nights you're available.

Trainer

When it comes to trainers, you're going to want to ask a few questions:

  • What training style do you use and why?
  • What flaws are there with your training style that other training styles don't have? Hint: if their answer is none, then run.
  • Are you willing to set aside your favorite way of training in order to help me achieve the goal that I want to achieve with my dog(s)? Of course, this is assuming your goal is actually possible. 

Training Options

Just like all dog trainers aren't equal, not all training services are created equally. In short, here is how I see things:

Group Classes
Great for owners who's training talent is greater or equal to their dogs behavioral difficulties. In other words, if you rated your self a 5 out of 10 on your training skill and you rated your dogs difficulty as a 4 our of 10, then group classes might be perfect for you.

Private Training (at my location)
Great for people who have more difficult dogs that show their problem behaviors outside of the home (leash reactivity is a good example).

In-Home Training
Great for people who want their dog to be trained how to behave at their home or for people who have dogs with severe behavioral issues that only occur in the home (a good example of this barking out the window or jumping on guests).

Board and Training
Great for owners who have dogs that are far more difficult than they are good at training. Great for puppy owners who don't have the time to socialize their puppy, but want their puppy to be socialized and trained. 

What You Need to Do

Grab a piece of paper to write out your answers to each of the questions posed above. This will help you figure out which training service is the best service option for you and your dog. If you'd rather talk this through with somebody, don't hesitate to reach out and contact me. Also feel free to watch the video that I've made going into more detail about the different training services out there!