Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.

Dog Training with Will Bangura: #144 How to Choose the Best Trainer for Your Canine Companion

January 10, 2024 Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of Season 5 Episode 143
Dog Training with Will Bangura: #144 How to Choose the Best Trainer for Your Canine Companion
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
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Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
Dog Training with Will Bangura: #144 How to Choose the Best Trainer for Your Canine Companion
Jan 10, 2024 Season 5 Episode 143
Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of

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Join me, Will Bangura, as I share a lifetime of insight from the dog training trenches, guiding you through the intricate process of finding the ideal trainer for your four-legged confidante. With over 35 years of experience, I've navigated the evolving landscape of dog training philosophy—from a balanced approach to becoming a champion of force-free, positive reinforcement techniques. In this candid discussion, I dissect the often misunderstood industry, breaking down why it's not just about manners, but nurturing a foundation of trust and respect with your dog, avoiding the pitfalls of fear-based methods.

Every pet parent knows that dog training can be a maze of options, but not all paths lead to a happy, well-adjusted pooch. This episode highlights the critical differences between superficial behavior modification and addressing the emotional root causes that shape your dog's actions. Tools that promise quick fixes, like prong collars, can mask deeper issues, potentially leading to more severe problems down the line. I'll walk you through the various expert roles—from trainers to veterinary behaviorists—and the significance of certifications, so you can seek out a true professional equipped to handle your dog's unique needs.

Lastly, the world of dog training is ever-evolving, and staying informed is key. I emphasize the vitality of continuous learning for dog trainers and shed light on the importance of thorough research when choosing the right one for you and your furry friend. From understanding their training philosophies to evaluating their experience with cases similar to your own, I'll arm you with the knowledge to make an informed decision. Tune in and join the conversation as we rally for training practices that prioritize our dogs' welfare and cement the bond between humans and their loyal companions.

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Join me, Will Bangura, as I share a lifetime of insight from the dog training trenches, guiding you through the intricate process of finding the ideal trainer for your four-legged confidante. With over 35 years of experience, I've navigated the evolving landscape of dog training philosophy—from a balanced approach to becoming a champion of force-free, positive reinforcement techniques. In this candid discussion, I dissect the often misunderstood industry, breaking down why it's not just about manners, but nurturing a foundation of trust and respect with your dog, avoiding the pitfalls of fear-based methods.

Every pet parent knows that dog training can be a maze of options, but not all paths lead to a happy, well-adjusted pooch. This episode highlights the critical differences between superficial behavior modification and addressing the emotional root causes that shape your dog's actions. Tools that promise quick fixes, like prong collars, can mask deeper issues, potentially leading to more severe problems down the line. I'll walk you through the various expert roles—from trainers to veterinary behaviorists—and the significance of certifications, so you can seek out a true professional equipped to handle your dog's unique needs.

Lastly, the world of dog training is ever-evolving, and staying informed is key. I emphasize the vitality of continuous learning for dog trainers and shed light on the importance of thorough research when choosing the right one for you and your furry friend. From understanding their training philosophies to evaluating their experience with cases similar to your own, I'll arm you with the knowledge to make an informed decision. Tune in and join the conversation as we rally for training practices that prioritize our dogs' welfare and cement the bond between humans and their loyal companions.

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Speaker 1:

If you're a pet parent and you're trying to find somebody to help you to train your dog, it can be extremely confusing. You know, most people get on the internet and there are so many different philosophies, so many different views and so many different ways. It can be very difficult to know what's right for your dog and what kind of training professional is right for your dog. We're going to get to all of that in more in 60 seconds. Don't go anywhere. Good day, dog lovers. It's Will Bangura and you're listening to another episode of dog training today. As I said in the opener, I want to take this time, this particular podcast, to talk about how do you select the right kind of training and behavior professional for you and your dog. Like I said in the opener, it can be extremely confusing. One of the reasons it's extremely confusing is because, unlike most professions, the dog training industry is unregulated. There's no oversight, there's no requirement for any type of education, no requirement for any kind of certification, and anybody can call themselves a dog trainer. So it's very important that you, as the pet parent, understand what to look for. Now. The first thing I want to say is that I believe anybody that has chosen to work with animals, work with dogs, training dogs, modifying behavior. I believe that and I'm going to give every dog trainer and behavior, consultant, behaviorist, veterinary behaviorist I'm going to give them a pass and say, hey, they are in it for the right reasons. And what I'm also going to say is I think that most professionals are trying to do the right thing. And the bottom line, what I want you to hear and this is important I believe that anybody that has chosen to work with dogs has good intentions. Okay, we're going to start there. Everybody's got good intentions, but unfortunately, you can have all the good intentions in the world and you could be going down the wrong path, all right, so first let me talk a little bit about myself, my expertise, my credentials, and then we'll talk about different training and behavior professionals within the dog training industry, and they specialize in different areas, and one and one might be better suited than another to help you with your dog. All right, so, like I said, I'm Will Ben-Gurah and I've been training dogs and doing behavior modification with dogs professionally for over 35 years. Prior to that, I was a hobbyist, training dogs and competing with dogs and AKC obedience matches, so I've actually been training dogs for a total of almost 40 plus years. Okay, now I have an interesting journey because of how long I've been training dogs.

Speaker 1:

I have had a philosophy of training and how I train that has evolved over time. I used to be what was called a balanced trainer. Balanced trainers are trainers that use positive reinforcement, but they also use punishment to correct unwanted behaviors, and basically, balanced trainers use tools and methods that are aversive, that will cause discomfort to the dog, that can cause fear, pain or intimidation, and that's used to motivate the dog. Now you may think, by common sense, that it's the right thing to do, that when a dog does something wrong, there needs to be a consequence and we need to show them that we don't want that. So if they're doing something wrong like, let's say, having an accident in the house or chewing something up that we like, it makes sense. I think that we want to cause them discomfort, and that's what punishment is, so that they won't do it again.

Speaker 1:

Here's the problem. Did your dog purposefully try to be disobedient? And what I mean by that is does your dog come into your life knowing what the rules are? You know, we've got dogs that are animals and they have a certain way of behaving in the animal kingdom and we've domesticated them, we've brought them into our homes and we ask them to be well-mannered and to behave well. But I think we forget oftentimes that a dog is just a dog and when dogs do things that we don't like, for the most part in most cases the dog's just being a dog, doing what would be normal for the dog there listen in the wild outside there are no specific potty places.

Speaker 1:

So if you have a new dog and the dog has an accident in the house, it's not that the dog is trying to do things just to spite you. Even though you might think, hey, I came home and the dog was guilty, looked guilty. Well, there's a lot of science behind that and that's not what's really going on. What's really going on is the dog is anticipating it's going to get punished, because that has been a pattern day in and day out, and day in and day out the pet parent comes home, the dog had an accident and the pet gets punished, and that only needs to happen a few times before the dog starts to associate the pet parent coming home and having discomfort and pain and intimidation by these corrections, and so what you think is the look of guilt, is a dog that is acting submissive because it doesn't want to experience pain. It's not that it knows better If it knew better it wouldn't do it.

Speaker 1:

But we have to take the time to teach our dogs what good manners are, what it is that we want, see archaic, old school dog training that is so outdated. And that science and research and not just one study, but study after study after study after study has concluded that the use of punishment, the use of corrections A are not necessary. B, from an animal welfare position and an ethical position, causing fear, pain and intimidation and really any kind of discomfort for a sentient being like a dog, is inappropriate. And there are tens of thousands of trainers out there that are getting fantastic results on training in any behavior and modifying any behavior out of the dog without using corrections, without using punishment, with just using positive reinforcement. See, one of the problems with using corrections and punishment, which are very outdated, is that it ruins the relationship that you have with your dog and you become the person inflicting the pain and the punishment and the dog truly doesn't understand because the dog's just being a dog.

Speaker 1:

And the dog doesn't understand because you haven't taken the time to teach the dog what it is you want it to do? And when I say I haven't taken the time, I'm not saying that you didn't attempt to teach your dog what you wanted to do, but did you put in enough repetition, enough time, enough proofing, enough working in different environments? So the behaviors are generalized and most people haven't done that. Most people have not worked with their dog over and over with enough repetition where the behaviors that you want from your dog are muscle memory, they're automatic, the dog doesn't have to think about it. So when your dog doesn't listen to you, really it's only because of a couple possible different things. Number one your dog really doesn't understand and that's a training issue that you need to spend more time training, doing repetition of the behaviors you like and motivating your dog with high value food, rewards or its favorite toy or love, praise and affection, but some kind of positive reinforcement that your dog loves. And most people underestimate the number of repetitions that they need to work with their dog for their dog to be really reliable and to have permanence with that behavior. And part of that is getting to the point where you're working from a non-distracting environment to a very distracting environment. Little by little you're adding more and more distractions and then you are working with your dog in lots of different locations and environments. That would generalize the training. So the dog learns that, hey, it's not location-specific which some dogs they really can think that. So it's important that we're going through that process. But getting back to how do you select the right kind of trainer? How do you select the right kind of behavior professional for your dog? So I'm a certified dog behavior consultant and I'm also a certified professional trainer and my certifications are through the certification council for professional dog trainers.

Speaker 1:

Now, I think it's very important if you're a pet parent and you're looking for somebody to help you with your dog because of training or behavior issues. Number one, you need to be looking for somebody who's certified. And when I say certified I'm going to be very specific here. They need to have been certified through the certification council for professional dog trainers. There's no reason why any dog trainer that is claiming to be good at what they do, there's absolutely no reason why they should not take that certification exam and to pass. Now they may say, hey, I'm certified, but I need you to check. Is there certification through the certification council for professional dog trainers. Can you go on the certification council for professional dog trainers, look them up in their directory. If you can't steer away from them, all right.

Speaker 1:

Like I said, there are different kinds of certifications and different certifying bodies. Why am I saying only go with trainers and behavior consultants that are certified by the Certification Council for professional dog trainers, because all the other certifications are biased and they're not independent. And those certifying the individuals have received money for their education and they're not going to let them down after they've spent $6,000, $7,000, $10,000 to go to dog trainer school and not then say they're certified With the Certification Council for professional dog trainers. They are truly independent. They are independent certification organization and they are the only certification organization that has been accredited by the CRIMDALA CRIMD, which accredits certifying bodies for doctors, nurses, veterinarians, vet techs. So you can trust, when you hire a trainer that has been certified through the Certification Council for professional dog trainers, that they have a certain level of education and a certain skill level, that you've got somebody that is going to be able to help you and help your dog and they've got a proven track record.

Speaker 1:

See, there are trainers out there that think that it's fine to put a shock collar on your dog. Well, science says otherwise. I say otherwise, and I used electronic collars on dogs before. Not anymore. Again my journey through dog training, I've evolved and I had great intentions when I used tools that were aversive. I had great intentions when I used punishment and corrections with dogs and I thought it was fine. But here's the thing. Think about this, think about what I'm going to say here. You don't know what you don't know, right, you don't know what you don't know. And if you don't know, but you think you know because of bias, and if you are the kind of person that doesn't believe in academics, if you're the kind of person that doesn't believe in science and research, well, you're going to do your own thing. The science, the research is unequivocal, unequivocal ball that using aversive tools like choke collars, prong collars, shock collars is detrimental to dogs. That A it can ruin your relationship with them and in many cases it leads to anxiety and aggression, or increased anxiety and aggression if the dog already has it.

Speaker 1:

The problem with aversives, the problem with correcting a dog, is that all you do is shut down the behavior temporarily using fear, pain and intimidation. You've made it uncomfortable and you've made it so uncomfortable for the dog that the dog doesn't want to engage in the behavior. Now you might say to yourself hey, what's wrong with that? I don't want my dog going after other dogs when we're walking. And I had a balance trainer and we used an electronic collar and I can get my dog to ignore other dogs when we're walking by, and that the way it should be.

Speaker 1:

Let me ask you this what motivated the dog's behavior in the first place to want to go after strange dogs? It was the dog's underlying emotional state, how you feel the dog perceived a strange dog as a threat, because a no animal goes into fight or flight unless they perceive something as threatening. And to perceive something as threatening there has to be an underlying emotion of fear, anxiety, stress, and you're viewing that strange dog as a threat. Now, using a physical correction and forcing a dog through physical discomfort, pain and causing some fear and intimidation, that hey, you dog, if you even look at that other dog, you're going to get a shock from the shock collar, you're going to get a leash pop from my prong collar. So because of intimidation and fear, the dog's too scared to act out.

Speaker 1:

Now, to the uneducated, untrained eye, you may think that's a trained dog. What's going on with the dog's emotions? Have they been changed? Do you think the dog now all of a sudden doesn't view the strange dog as a threat? Do you think all of a sudden that fear and that anxiety and stress just went away? No, it was shut down.

Speaker 1:

However, that's temporary. It's very temporary because if the dog truly views another dog as a threat, just using force to get the dog to not look at another dog and maybe walk with you, not paying attention to the other dog's, might again look like the dog's trained to the uneducated, unexperienced eye. However, that outward behavior is not the problem. It's the underlying emotional state that drives that behavior. If you change the underlying emotional state of the dog, the behavior goes away. If the dog no longer perceives a strange dog as a threat, if the dog no longer has anxiety, fear or stress about a strange dog that dog's not gonna be going into fight or flight the behavior will go away. It extinguishes. Now, like I said, that's the crux of the problem.

Speaker 1:

And when you hire a balanced trainer that's using aversives and corrections, especially if you have a dog that's reactive and aggressive, it may look good temporarily, but it's all smoke and mirrors. The behavior is always going to come back if you do not address the underlying emotional state. That's what needs to be addressed. So what happens to these dogs that are trained and you think that they're fine because they now only look at their handler, their pet parent, when they're walking and refuse to look at other dogs and they were taught to do that with tools that were aversive, like prong collars and electronic collars the dog is shut down emotionally. However, those emotions, those feelings, those perceptions have never gone away.

Speaker 1:

And day by day, as the dog is brought back into the situation that's scary, the anxiety, the stress, the fear, the perception that strange dogs are threats, that builds inside the dog and it builds, and it builds and it just builds like a pressure cooker and eventually this punishment, these corrections no longer work. The dog snaps and the aggression is much worse. And that's in most cases, most cases. If you're on social media, you've seen the dog daddy and you've seen that he takes dogs that apparently look really aggressive and in just a couple of minutes turns them into a dog that appears to have good manners. That's an example of shutting a dog down through force. He hangs the dog with the leash. He's very severe. Now, most trainers aren't gonna do that, but that doesn't mean that trainers that aren't hanging dogs but still using a prong collar, a shock collar, are doing what's in the best interest of your dog and for you all right.

Speaker 1:

So looking for a trainer or a behavior consultant through the certification council for professional dog trainers is the first tip I can give you. Now let's talk about the difference. What's the difference between a trainer and a behavior consultant? Well, a trainer is somebody who typically works with dogs and pet parents to teach certain behaviors like how to sit, how to lay down, how to go to your better place, how to stay, how to walk on a loose leash okay and they also tend to work with nuisance behaviors like jumping, excessive barking, digging, chewing, those type of things. A behavior consultant is different from a trainer. They're already a trainer, but they've got a higher level of education, they've got a higher level of experience and they've got greater skills, and their skill set is specialized into working with dogs that have severe behavior problems, like dogs that have reactivity, aggression, beers, phobias, obsessive, compulsive behavior, chronic, chronic, extremely difficult housebreaking issues and soiling issues. Those are the type of things, especially the aggression and fear and anxiety and phobias that behavior consultants work with. So that's the other thing. If your primary issue is behavior and it's not a nuisance behavior, it's one that's rooted in an underlying deep emotional state, again, reactivity, aggression, fears, phobias, obsessive, compulsive behavior. Those are the classic things that a behavior consultant, a certified dog behavior consultant, is gonna work with. And if you go to the certification council for professional dog trainers website and look in the directory, you can sort your search by trainers or behavior consultants. Okay, now what are some other professionals that work in the field?

Speaker 1:

Well, there is such a thing as an applied animal behaviorist. An applied animal behaviorist has had additional schooling beyond that of a behavior consultant and they tend to work with all animals. If they're an applied animal behaviorist, they don't necessarily specialize in canines. So in some cases you may find a certified behavior consultant if they are, because they specialize in dogs. If they specialize in dogs, that may be a better fit than an applied animal behaviorist that, say, specializes in horses and really didn't do much with dogs. All right, there's another kind of behaviorist and that is the veterinary behaviorist.

Speaker 1:

Now, a veterinary behaviorist. Their first function is medicine and they're a regular veterinarian. They went to vet school. After they completed that, they spent another three to six years specializing in behavior, and a big part of that is behavior medicine. So your veterinary behaviorists, they're kind of like the equivalent of a human psychiatrist, but for companion animals like dogs, cats, things of that, that nature.

Speaker 1:

Listen, they've got a nervous system that's almost identical to humans. They can suffer, dogs, I mean. They can suffer from anxiety, they can suffer from phobias, obsessive, compulsive behavior, aggression, reactivity, and in some very severe cases, part of the problem is in neurochemical imbalance. We know this with science and research. So there are some dogs out there that well, they all need training and behavior modification. But what training and behavior modification can't address is an underlying medical issue and a neurochemical imbalance. A lack, of say, serotonin or a lack of dopamine or too much norepinephrine all those things can affect mood and behavior. So, again, in some very severe cases, some dogs are gonna need behavior medication along with training and behavior modification. So that's not all dogs.

Speaker 1:

But know that there are veterinary behaviorists and oftentimes, in severe cases, you may work with a veterinary behaviorist along with the certified dog behavior consultant, because veterinary behaviorists typically aren't doing a lot of behavior modification. Now, some do more than others, but remember their primary training is in medicine. Okay, and while they may do some behavior modification, when it comes to behavior modification for dogs that have more severe behavior problems, if you're seeing a veterinary behaviorist and you don't have, say, a certified dog behavior consultant to help you with all the complexities of behavior modification. You need to find out. Does this veterinary behaviorist you're working with, do they do a lot of behavior modification and to what extent? Are they just giving you some handouts and saying and just taking a few minutes to explain it and say he try this, or are they truly working with you in depth? Are they spending 45 minutes to an hour each session coaching you on behavior modification? If not, doesn't mean that they're bad. Hey, they're serving their purposes of veterinary behaviors but they're not doing a lot of behavior modification. You gotta find somebody like a certified dog behavior consultant in order to do that. Okay, so now that we know about different professionals and we know what to look for in terms of certification, it's important, all right to talk about and I did a little bit methodology and approach.

Speaker 1:

Now what has been debunked through science is that this whole notion of you needing to show your dog whose boss, you needing to be the alpha there's no validity to that, I'm sorry to tell you. Even if there are trainers out there that you like and love that are speaking, that just because they're speaking it doesn't mean it's true. Everything I do is evidence-based and science-based. That's the other thing that is critical. When you're working with a trainer or a behavior consultant or whomever, you need to make sure that what they're doing, what they're suggesting the training, the behavior modification, is rooted in science. Is it science-based, evidence-based? Are these the best practices based on what science and research are telling us and science and research have told us over and over and over dozens and dozens of studies that it is detrimental to a dog to use punishment and corrections and and and. It's unnecessary. It's unnecessary.

Speaker 1:

Now, if you're just using positive reinforcement, you've got to be a better trainer. I mean, how much skill does it take to punish a dog? It takes little to no skill to do that. But to work with a dog just using positive reinforcement, which really boosts the dog's confidence and really boosts the relationship that you have with your dog, you've got to be a better trainer. It takes more skill and in some cases not always it might take a little more time. However, the permanence and reliability that you will get by doing it the right way, through positive reinforcement, you are going to have much greater permanence and reliability than any training that has been done using aversives.

Speaker 1:

So you need to be talking to the person that you're thinking of hiring. What kind of tools, if any, do you use in training? And if they use any kind of tool like a slip lead, a martingale, choke collar, a prong collar, a E collar, which can also be called a shock collar. It can also be called a remote trainer. Anybody that mentioned that? Boom, that's a red flag, just like if they talk about well, you know, we take a pack mentality view. Listen, this whole idea of pack and pack structure again outdated, old ideas that are wrong and they don't hold up in the face of scientific research. So it's important. Education is important. Certification is important.

Speaker 1:

Again, it's not enough to just have a good looking website and let's talk about reputation and references. Listen, there are lots of balanced trainers that have a good reputation. There's a lot of balanced trainers out there that can provide you with a lot of references, and that's wonderful. Anybody you're hiring, you wanna check their reputation, you wanna check their references. You want to read reviews. You wanna perhaps ask for references.

Speaker 1:

The only thing I say about asking for references who in there? I mean, I don't believe there's any business person that's gonna run you in the direction of a reference that they know that they're unhappy. I mean, if you ask me for references, I'm gonna certainly send you to people that are very happy. Who's gonna send you to somebody who's unhappy? So to me, there's very little value in asking for references. There's a lot of value in reading reviews.

Speaker 1:

Now I want you to remember something when you're reading reviews. Okay, that is one person's subjective experience. Just because it's in writing on the internet doesn't make it true. Okay, but it's important to read through reviews. When you see a bunch of five-star reviews, bunch of four-star reviews, and then you got boom, one, one, one, a couple of ones, and it's like that's a pendulum right, the high being five, the low being one, how can there be such a difference? So I tend to throw out. If there's a lot of five-star reviews, I take the one-star reviews with a grain of salt. However, three-star reviews, those are the ones I'm really gonna read and I might get a good idea of where possible deficiencies are with the trainer or the training method if they've got three-star reviews. Now, that's just my opinion, my opinion, how I go about looking at things. It's important.

Speaker 1:

I've already given you some ideas and questions, so you need to ask them. Do you believe that you need to show the dog who's alpha? And if they're in agreement with that, you know they're not following science-based or evidence-based practices. You know that they don't really have a formal education. You know that they don't keep up with the latest evidence-based and science-based methods of training. So that's an important question along with what tools do you use? Ask them what their philosophy of training is. And if they say they start using terms like hierarchy, pack, structure, alpha, doing alpha roles, yeah, you need to stay far away from them. If they're talking about shock collars, they won't call it a shock collar, they'll call it a remote trainer and E-collar, something like that, and Anybody that's using those tools. Again, they're not following evidence-based, science-based best practices and it shows to their lack of knowledge and education and I'm not, I don't mean that in a disrespectful way. Let's face it. Some people have more education than others and education and knowledge are important and they're powerful.

Speaker 1:

Okay, listen, if you have to take a flight across country in a jet plane, you know, maybe you make your reservation with American Airlines or United Airlines or Delta or Alaskan Airlines, whatever airline. The pilot has gone through formal education. That pilot has had to go through certification and licensure in order to fly you. Now, are you comfortable having somebody fly you in that plane that doesn't have a formal education in aeronautics and flying? Are you comfortable in having somebody who's not licensed or not certified fly you in that plane?

Speaker 1:

It's a safety issue, right, big time. I don't want to crash, I don't want to die. Same thing for your dog. It's a safety issue when a trainer convinces you that, hey, it's okay to use this prong collar, it really doesn't hurt. Or hey, it's okay to use this electronic collar, the shock collar really doesn't hurt. Here, let me let you feel it.

Speaker 1:

Listen, the only way those tools work is when they're uncomfortable or they don't work. That's what they were designed for. So don't let anybody try to tell you otherwise. Listen, they might say oh, we just use an electronic collar to get their attention. Look, there's lots of ways to get a dog's attention. How about you blow a whistle? How about you teach them that through positive reinforcement? When you say their name, they look at you Trainers that use aversives. I don't believe that it's on purpose, but they're lazy and they don't have the skill level of a really good positive reinforcement trainer. Now why do I say really good. There's going to be good and bad trainers in every area and that's why it's not enough to just find somebody who's certified, but it's important to talk to them about their experience.

Speaker 1:

How long have you been training dogs? Tell me how you got into it. Tell me about your formal education. Tell me about the dogs and pet parents you've worked with. What kind of cases have you primarily taken on?

Speaker 1:

Hey, if you've got a dog that's reactive or aggressive, you need to ask them how many reactive and aggressive dogs have you worked with and what's your success level? And listen, nobody should guarantee you any results when it comes to behavior. Stay away from it. Guarantee. Also, listen, animals are unpredictable. I can't guarantee my behavior 100%. I may make a mistake today.

Speaker 1:

I'm not going to be perfect in neither our dogs and neither our dog trainers. So you need to assess the education level, the experience level, what kind of cases that they've taken on? Have they had a lot of experience and success working with dogs that had the same issues and problems your dog has? And ask also the trainers what do you do for continuing education? See those trainers and behavior consultants that are certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Speaker 1:

It's mandatory that you do continuing education, so at least you know, when you hire a certified trainer or behavior consultant through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, that they are up to date on the latest and greatest scientific research methods, techniques, that they're not just stagnant, because, quite frankly, most trainers they don't continue their education and they just stay stuck in what they're doing. You know, if I never continued my education on my own by the way, it wasn't a requirement, but on my own there would not have been that transformative journey for me from a balanced trainer to a force-free trainer that doesn't use aversives and that is critical. Don't let any trainer tell you corrections are necessary. Don't let any trainer tell you that tools like prong collars, shock collars no matter what words they use to describe them that they're necessary. They're not. They're not necessary.

Speaker 1:

There are plenty, plenty of studies that are out there that you can look up about the efficacy of different kinds of training methods and different kinds of training tools. Okay, so those are some things that I think are very important for you to have an understanding of and to know what to look for, to know, perhaps, what questions to ask and to also know you know what are some red flags that you need to look for when it comes to hiring a trainer. Now, if you can't find somebody that's qualified in your area, you can go to my website at dogbehavioristcom. I do behavior consultants consulting all over the world. Have a good day everybody. Take care I'm out of here,

Selecting the Right Dog Trainer
Understanding Dog Training and Behavior Professionals
Choosing a Qualified Dog Trainer
Continuing Education for Dog Trainers