How to Choose the Right Dog Trainer | Pupford
July 25th, 2023
Filed under Podcasts
Searching for the right dog trainer can sometimes feel impossible! There are so many different certifications... different methods... different titles... different names for training styles... the list goes on! So, how can you decide confidently?
Of course, when choosing a dog trainer you should check out their experience and credentials. But, on top of that, I have two things you can do to help make a better decision about who will help train your dog!
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OVERVIEW OF HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT DOG TRAINER
When choosing a trainer for your dog, ask them these questions!
#1- ASK FOR THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF LIMA AND IF THEY PRACTICE THAT METHODOLOGY
LIMA stands for Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive. By that , you most likely infer that you start with the least intrusive techniques first. Say you’re driving down a highway, and you’re looking for a solution. The first exit from the freeway will be the first thing you will want to try, and if that doesn’t get you to your destination, try the next exit, moving back towards the further exits until you are able to solve your dog’s problem behaviors.
- First exit is a wellness check
- Second exit is to get rid of the stimulus. Say your , you don’t let your dog outside alone with that stimulus. You don’t allow the situation to present itself.
- Third is positive reinforcement. Read about the science of positive reinforcement .
- Next comes replacement behaviors. Instead of barking you have your dog look at you and you reinforce that.
- Negative punishment, negative reinforcement, extinction
- Positive punishment, things like choke chains, shock collars, etc.
Steps 1-4 are the steps that you want your dog trainer to follow that are backed by science.
#2- BE FORTHRIGHT AND ASK IF THEY USE PUNISHMENTS OR AVERSIVES IF YOU’RE ON THE FENCE ABOUT A TRAINER
Trainers may use words that are kind of vague and maybe you can’t tell what techniques they use. Ask them!
While all trainers are able to choose for themselves what methods that they want to use, at Pupford we believe that there are better ways and ways that are backed by science that will help your dog more in the long run. Aversive techniques may stop a behavior from happening, but positive reinforcement will teach them what you want them to do.
Those two things are simple, but they can truly help you make a more informed decision about who to have help train your pup.