- States don’t require that dog trainers be licensed. Ask about the trainer’s education, credentials and experience. Consider a trainer who’s a member of a professional organization, such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers or the Association of Canine Professionals.
- Talk to your vet. Before hiring a trainer, consult with your veterinarian to rule out a physical cause for behavior issues. Make sure you hire a trainer who asks for your dog’s health records, to reduce the chance of disease spreading.
- Interview potential trainers. Ask for details about their training approach and techniques. Check into the differences in pace and expectations between individual and group instruction. Observe a class to make sure you agree with a trainer’s approach before paying. Many trainers will offer a free evaluation.
- Get details in writing. Costs vary widely, with hourly rates, as well as multi-class packages, available. You should have all details of the training in writing. Also, ask for a money-back guarantee.
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