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Many believe a dog trainer helps teach your dog the only commands required for a long and satisfying relationship: sit, stay, down, come and heel. Yet greeting people at the door, walking without lunging incidents, getting along with strange people or dogs, pulling on the leash and addressing nipping or biting incidents are dog handling issues that cause dog owners the most grief.

Choosing the right instruction program for you and your dog is crucial as trainers and their programs can be very different. Additionally, some dogs don’t fit our expectation of living to please, requiring you to become a more competent dog handler than you ever imagined. Dogs need consistent communication, clear direction and feedback from everyone in your family.

The key to a successful relationship is understanding that your dog relies on you to guide it through our human world and your unique lifestyle. Your job is to find a trainer that acts as your coach to help you achieve that. Ask friends and family to recommend area instructors for a list of trainers in your area. Interview instructors about their philosophies, goals and objectives and have them discuss their achievements. Instructors should be able to provide a clear explanation of their methodology and why they utilize it. Choose a trainer who will include your family and is committed to helping you achieve your goals.

Do know what your end goals are

It is important to have an idea of what your goals are when it comes to your relationship with your dog. If you wish to walk your dog off-leash in conservation lands, then a four week training class inside a pet store may not be the best option for you. Often dog trainers are well versed in show obedience designed for pleasing a show judge, which may not be practical in your day-to-day life. If you are interested in instruction beyond the basics in agility, utility and tracking - to name a few options - you may want to choose a training program that offers these fun activities after you have completed basic instruction. Keeping your end goals in mind will help narrow down the field.

Do understand you are also learning

When someone learns to ride a horse they call on a riding instructor and not a horse trainer. Trainers achieve a higher level of proficiency before they take on the challenge of training an animal. With dogs it is referred to only as dog training and dog obedience taught by dog trainers. The important part of teaching a dog owner how to handle their dog has been skipped. Traditional dog training classes ask those without expertise to learn how to train while they train their dog. It is a setup for failure for many whose dogs aren’t easy and weren’t born to please. Not separating dog handling instruction (learning how to handle dogs) from dog training (having the skills necessary to train a dog regardless of demeanor) also results in the emphasis being placed on just the dog. Learning skills can take time and attention.

Additionally, many trainers are wonderfully talented with dogs but lack the skill or desire to teach you how to handle your pet. A trainer that can put any dog through its paces with ease is wonderful. However, it is important that they will also focus on helping you, the person who lives with the dog, so you can handle your dog with ease as well.

Do involve the entire family

When a dog training class allows only one person to participate in a family, or only one person attends a class, your dog will know it. Dogs have individual relationships with everyone in the family. Just like in families, position is not determined because someone loves or feeds another. Expect boundary testing and sibling rivalry.

The ultimate goal of attending class is to be coached as you solidify a relationship of respect using clear communication and feedback. When only one person does this, the others in the family can have an extremely difficult time with the dog. As with horses, first one has to train the horse to accept the rider and commands, then each person must learn to ride. No one learns by only reading a book or simply watching someone else. A family member should not be expected to attend a class and then teach other family members what they have just learned. Classes that model riding instruction utilizing “schooling” dogs allow everyone in the family to participate. It also allows parents to see any difficulties their children may have with their dog. When a child is unable to handle their dog in class parents can decide that allowing the child to walk the dog unsupervised, for example, isn’t advisable.

source article : just-share,net
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