Choosing a Trainer

All dogs have something in common: 


They can benefit from obedience training — tiny teacup terriers, mammoth Newfoundlands, energetic yellow Labs and even laid-back Bassett hounds.

To be a happy, healthy, well-adjusted and safe dog, the family pooch needs to learn to obey. But who is the best person to train your dog — you or a professional? Can you do it yourself or should you seek out help?

It is usually preferable for the owner to train his/her dog because training also encompasses the owner’s behaviors. A good trainer will coach you to train your dog.


Dog training takes time and patience, commitment, consistency and an understanding of dog behavior.

Whenever you need a little help with training or your dog has some problem behaviors you can’t tackle alone, help from a dog trainer is your best answer.

Choosing a trainer should start first and foremost with a clear idea of what goals you have with respect to training, and then finding an instructor/trainer who can help you reach those goals. Do you want obedience training? Are you expecting a baby and want to learn how to baby-dog proof your home? Do you want to teach your children how to handle your dog? Do you want socialization for your dog? Do you want to compete in Rally or Agility? There are so many fun things to do with your dog.

Because almost anyone can print up some fliers and claim to be a dog trainer, it’s important to do some research before selecting an instructor. Is the trainer certified? What is the trainer's method? You should be comfortable with both the instructor/trainer and with the environment.

Dog-training tips

  • Does the trainer offer individual attention and good, clear advice and instructions? How will dogs be corrected? Are they rewarded rather than punished? How will the trainer teach your dog to sit or lie down? Does he or she work well with different (and especially your) breeds of dog?
  • Competent instructors have extensive tool boxes — more than one method — and have a good knowledge of the proper use of various types of equipment so that if something doesn't work, they can offer alternatives.
  • Good people skills are also necessary. If the person cannot communicate effectively with you, it doesn't matter how good of a trainer they are — they won’t be able to effectively help you.
Need help with your dog? Give me a call.

All the Best,
Mary Cacciapaglia ( catch-a-pal-ya)
Paws First Choice - Dog Training in the 805
(805) 982-0481

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