Digging Up a Good Dog Trainer

Your retriever mix Jackson would make an excellent fitness coach. He seems especially pleased when he makes you work up a sweat. Several times daily, your three-year-old dog hauls you out for a potty walk. After sniffing briskly along the sidewalk, he takes a good run around the block. When you return home, you’re out of breath from the workout. You’d like your walks to be more enjoyable, so your Jupiter Island, FL vet has referred you to a dog trainer who conducts obedience classes. Before enrolling Jackson in a session, watch the instructor in action.

Spotless, Secure Facility

Eighty-pound Jackson looks for every chance to bend – or even break – the rules. Because he’ll probably try to jailbreak the training center, you’re happy that the facility has heavy-duty exterior doors. The trainer has also posted a sign requiring proof of current vaccinations before students can join the class.

Look for an uncluttered training room with a clean floor. Because students could have a potty accident, she should stock disinfectant and paper towels. Pet parents want nicely maintained bathrooms that contain toilet paper, soap, towels, and cleaning supplies.

Canine/Human Partnerships

Because Jackson needs a training partner, you (or another well-known family member) will be his obedience class buddy. If your pooch consistently hears commands from one person, the training is more likely to produce desirable results.

Hopefully, six or fewer students will participate. This should enable the instructor to provide each pooch with one-on-one training time.

Respect-Based Training

A seasoned dog trainer achieves results with respectful training aids such as flat collars, head halters, and harnesses. She might also use treats and toys. Avoid someone with negative training aids such as prong, choke, or electronic collars.

No Punishment Necessary

A skilled, confident trainer speaks in a normal voice. Don’t patronize an instructor who yanks the dogs’ leashes or screams at them. If she hits, kicks, or otherwise abuses a trusting student, walk out immediately.

After observing the class, learn more about the instructor’s qualifications. If she has joined a dog training organization, she’s likely committed to maintaining (and improving) her skills. If you’re favorably impressed, sign Jackson up for a class.

When Jackson next visits your Jupiter Island, FL vet, he should be a cooperative canine with good manners. If your dog needs structure, contact us for expert assistance.

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