I have a student that is new to agility and has a softer dog. She has been training with the same trainer for about a year and recently joined a class with a new trainer. The new trainer was able to break things down for her in a way that helped her to give her dog more information and now they are having so much fun where before they were often frustrated. They found that they were missing some of the foundation work needed for success. Sometimes students join classes that are taught above their abilities and when that happens, it tends to leave holes in their training that causes frustration for both handler and dog.
If you have been training dogs for any length of time, you know how many different training styles are out there and you know what you are looking for but if you are new to the dog-training world, it can be difficult to find a trainer that you “mesh” with. Differing personalities, training techniques and the training style of you and your dog plays a part in the success of your training.
If you ask five different trainers how to train the same behavior, you are likely going to get five different answers. Finding an open-minded trainer that has many tools is key to achieving success. I offer many methods for training tricks, and strength exercises and mold each training session to the handler and dog. Heck sometimes I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. I think training should be a collaboration not a dictatorship - people working together toward the same goals.
Whether you are training your dog to comply with basic manners, or training for canine sports, the methods that you use will be fostered by the trainers you choose. I received this piece of advice early when training my first dog in agility and I hope it can help you as much as it has helped me:
“Train with as many different trainers as you can and take the tools that work for you and your dog and make them your own”
I still subscribe to this theory today and encourage my students to do the same.
Picking a trainer is hard work. Criteria for choosing a trainer might be something like listed below:
Bobbie Lyons, CCFT, KPA CPT