When trying to choose a trainer or behaviorist to help your family and canine i would like to give a few pointers. There are hundreds of “trainers” out there, and not every trainer has the skill set or capability to handle every dog or situation. I have referred out potential clients to other trainers in cases i either didn’t have the time or compete understanding of the dog’s issues or did not feel that the owner or family was wiling to do the work necessary to fix the behavioral traits that were exhibited. A mark of a GOOD trainer will be thorough pre-screening of the family and canine (s) prior to money exchanging hands. I require a registration form/questionnaire to be filled out prior to my FREE 1 hour behavioral consult. Yes that means i DRIVE over an hour on my own time and money to visit the potential client and K9s before a dime is exchanged. Yes i have performed MANY free consults and NEVER provided training for the family for numerous reasons, and i am sure i have been taken advantage of a few times, but I am NOT a dog trainer for the money, this is not my job that pays the bills. Please be weary of anyone who expects money up front prior to even meeting you or your dog, let alone experiencing his behavioral or training issues to ensure they have an understanding of the family and the canine. I train my search and rescue dogs thousands of hours a month so that others may live, not to make a buck, and i will not compromise a family and their dog so that i can pad my bank account.
Secondly please remember that not all certification programs for dog trainers are created equal, and just because you have a trainer who has graduated from a dog school or dog online academy does not mean they are qualified! There are many different associations you can join and international programs you can pay thousands of dollars to in Canada and other countries so that you can become a “professional”. It is essential that you also look at the trainer, their own dogs, and their experience. I started training dogs over a decade ago, and i have plenty of “certifications” and letters after my name from various organizations for demonstrating my knowledge and experience training dogs, but my real life experience training and raising dogs is what taught me more than any book or school, and I do not know everything, I have SOMETHING to learn from EVERYONE.
I feel i have a natural talent with dogs, an understanding of them on a deeper level then most, a way of communication with both the dog and the owners that you cannot buy from any “school” or verify through any test (which has been confirmed by all my clients both human and canine i have worked with over the years). I have an open mind i am always ready to learn whether it is from another dog handler, another dog trainer, or the client or canine i am working with and i love to develop new relationships with other humans who enjoy canines as much as i do. You will not see a flashy website with big words to try and impress you, all you will get is just me, in my muddy dog hair covered clothes that smell like liver treats. Yes i have the paper proof of my knowledge, i have the initials after my name, but most importantly what i have to offer is me, and i challenge you to invite me over to meet your dog, no strings attached, and lets see what i can offer you. I cannot guarantee you the snappiest, showy cookie-cutter obedience routine, that is your job as the dog’s handler, but what i can offer you is the TOOLS needed to achieve that. I can teach you how to COMMUNICATE with your dog CONSISTENTLY, i can help you earn his RESPECT and his yours, and I can get you the FOUNDATION needed to achieve whatever you wish with your canine companion. Yes we do believe all dogs should be canine copilots for life, and no i do not whisper……I translate.