Using Pet Behavior and Training Services

When your dog training needs go beyond simple commands such as sit and down, you may decide to use pet behavior and training services. The key to using pet behavior and training services is finding a qualified professional that you feel comfortable working with. Ask for referrals to trustworthy pet trainers and behaviorists from your veterinarian, groomer or friends who have well-behaved pets that have previously used professional training and behavior modification.

Professional Dog Training Services

Teaching your dog to perform basic obedience commands or the skills necessary to participate in dog sporting events like flyball can be made much easier when you consult with a knowledgeable professional trainer. Ask about the training methods that will be used to motivate your dog to perform the desired tasks. Be sure that you understand the method and will feel comfortable using it yourself. No matter how good a trainer is, training will fail if the dog's owner is unwilling or unable to follow the training protocols being used. Ask prospective trainers for references from previous clients and also from other professionals like veterinarians and other dog trainers. You may also ask if you may observe a training session or class without your dog to see if you, your dog and the trainer are a good match.

Pet Behavior Modification

Behavior modification goes beyond basic obedience training. It can be used to resolve common behavior problems like digging or destructive chewing to helping a dog overcome serious issues such as dog to human aggression. Most behavioral modification protocols will require that your dog be able to follow basic obedience commands and may call for changes in your dog's daily living environment. If your dog is experiencing a difficult behavioral issue, be sure that the person you hire to help you resolve it is qualified to do so.

You may consider hiring a veterinarian who specializes in animal behavior (a veterinary behaviorist), though these professionals are not abundant. There are people that are certified animal behaviorists that have earned a degree in a related field like psychology or biology and then went on to obtain a specialty in animal behavior. There are also trainers that specialize in the resolution of behavioral problems that have done apprenticeships with behaviorists or belong to organizations that require that the trainer meet certain criteria and attend ongoing education in order to earn and maintain a certification. Be selective when hiring a behavioral modification specialist. Find out about their background experiences and education before you hire them.

Follow through Is the Key to Success

Once you have found a pet behavior and training professional that you feel comfortable with, be sure to follow through with any instructions that they give you. If you believe that the methods are not working, contact your trainer right away for clarification or change to the prescribed method. Open communication and adherence to instructions will be critical to getting the most out of your time with the pet professional you have employed, and will create the best possible outcome.