By John North
Better Business Bureau
Pets are an important part of our lives. In fact, dogs are the most popular household pet with 48.3 million families owning dogs in the U.S. Training is an important part of dog ownership.
Taking care of a dog may seem easy, but there may be unexpected behaviors like pulling on the leash, baring teeth over scraps or barking incessantly. To help not only you, but the dog as well, consider hiring a dog trainer.
Better Business Bureau offers tips for choosing a reputable dog trainer:
· Do your research. Look at websites and online reviews. Get recommendations from family and friends. Also, ask your vet.
· Consider the type of training you want or need for your dog. For example, if unwanted behaviors are happening at home, an in-home consultation is worth looking into. If behaviors such as leash pulling or poor social skills happen while outside the home, perhaps an in-person class is the right option.
· Look for training certification from the following organizations: Certification Councils for Professional Dog Trainers, International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and Pet Professional Accreditation Board.
· Set-up interviews with potential trainers to determine their training ethics, rates, insurance and methodology.
· Ask questions, specifically, if they’ve had experience working with dogs having the same problems.
· Look for a trainer who uses positive reinforcement training — rewarding the dog for appropriate behavior and teaching alternative behaviors in place of inappropriate ones.
· Beware if a trainer is physically abusive or recommends hitting the dog during training.
BBB can also help. Contact the BBB for a list of BBB Accredited dog trainers and Business Profiles on ones you may be considering. Visit BBB.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.