What to Look for in a Professional Dog Trainer

When you are looking for a professional dog trainer, you will have to look for certain things that will ensure that the trainer can teach your pet the basics and correct the behaviors you would like to get rid of in your pet.

The Skills of the Trainer

A good professional dog trainer should have a few skills such as:

  • Knowing how to get a response from a dog, being able to apply several techniques when these are needed
  • Knowledge of dog psychology and anatomy
  • Understanding on dog body language
  • Empathy towards dogs and people
  • Good people skills, as you will also have to attend the training sessions
  • Has a positive attitude
  • Won’t promise that he can fix any type of problems, as even if the training can help eliminate common problems, certain dog behavioral problems may not be fixed with training

It is important that the trainer uses positive reinforcement techniques and doesn’t encourage violence, which is not an acceptable pet training technique.

Certification and Qualifications

Since there is no compulsory certification required to become a dog trainer, you will have to find out what type of qualifications the trainer has.

It is important to know the background of the trainer, so that you can establish if he is a good fit to train your dog. For instance, a trainer that has a background that is related to pets, medicine or has a genuine fondness for pets can be suitable.

Some trainers may have various diplomas after having attended various dog training courses.

Previous Experience

The experience of the trainer you would like to opt for is also important, as an inexperienced trainer may take a longer time to get optimal results.

Ask the trainer how long he’s been training pets and it is also important to know if he has experience in training pets from your dog’s breed. Not all dog breeds require the same training techniques and some breeds may be more difficult to train. Some dog trainers specialize only in certain dog breed training (i.e. guard dog training).


Last but not least, you should ask your friends, work colleagues and family if they know of a professional dog trainer. A person that is highly recommended by other dog owners should be a capable trainer. However, you will have to judge for yourself.

Decide on a Trainer

Before you decide on a professional trainer for your dog, make sure to observe a few training classes and talk to the trainer. You should get a lot of info on how the trainer interacts with the other dogs, the owners and with you.

Take a look at the equipment used and ask about the costs involved. Remember that you don’t have to choose judging solely by the price, as this may not be the best solution.