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Rounding Up a Good Dog Trainer

July 15, 2015
Your Labrador retriever Lance thinks you need more exercise. Since he’s a considerate pooch, this rambunctious three-year-old dog gives you several daily workouts. During each neighborhood walk, he happily yanks you down the street, your arms and legs screaming from the exertion. Clearly, Lance needs some discipline and direction. Your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary clinic has recommended a well-known dog trainer. Before you enroll your companion for an obedience class, though, observe the instructor’s on-the-job performance.

Secure, Well-Maintained Facility

Lance is a born rebel, always finding ways to circumvent the rules. He’ll try to break out of the training center, so you’re glad to see the heavy exterior doors. You’re even happier to see a sign requiring proof of current vaccinations before students can enter. Expect a clutter-free training room with a squeaky-clean floor. The trainer should provide plenty of paper towels and disinfectant for the dogs’ potty accidents. Pet parents also want nicely equipped facilities. Each bathroom should contain toilet tissue, towels, soap, and cleaning supplies.

Canine/Human Partnership

You (or another familiar family member) will be attending class with Lance. If your canine housemate frequently hears commands from one person, the training is more likely to be successful. Ideally, the class will have six or fewer students. The trainer wants to provide each student with personal attention, and she’ll find that difficult if she’s overrun with dogs.

Respectful, Positive Attitude

Competent dog trainers use respectful training aids such as harnesses, head halters, and flat collars. You’ll probably see treats and toys used as incentives or rewards. Avoid an instructor who breaks out uncomfortable, negative training devices. If you see prong, choke, or electronic collars, steer clear of that facility.

Punishment’s Off Limits

An experienced, confident instructor always uses a normal tone of voice. Don’t tolerate a trainer who yells or yanks the students’ leashes so they’ll listen. If she hits, kicks, or otherwise abuses a trusting pooch, walk out immediately. Afterward, learn about the trainer’s qualifications. If she belongs to a dog training organization, she’s likely serious about maintaining (and improving) her professional skills. If you’re pleased with what you’ve observed, sign Lance up for the next class. When your companion next visits your Floyds Knob, IN veterinary clinic, the vet will be pleased with his obedience skills. If your dog needs some discipline, contact us for an appointment.

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