Is Your Dog Trainer Actually "Certified"?
I have a story about my luck with professionals lately and I thought it helped make a good point about searching for a dog trainer. So, settle in and read on!
Did you know that the dog training industry is unregulated?
Let me tell you about my personal experience with a (mostly) unregulated industry recently. When purchasing our new home, we had a home inspection done, just like any reasonable home buyer would do.
There were some repairs that needed to be made. So, the sellers hired a "professional" to work on our home. Now, by professional, I thought everything would be fine because that surely meant they had to hire someone licensed to work on my new home.
Actually it didn't.
It allowed them to hire someone off the street calling himself a professional.
Turns out, "licensed" and "professional" mean two different things to the law.
Chaos ensued shortly after, but I will say it cost us extra money and the sellers extra money. Two licensed contractors and a month later, we have finally fixed everything that was either broken or repaired incorrectly by the original "professional".
The dog training industry is much the same way.
Anyone can open a dog training business without a day of training or dog ownership and call themselves a "professional dog trainer".
Heck, in our industry, they can even call them "certified professionals" and guess who "certified" them? Themselves.
🐶 There are no laws against this behavior. The only thing preventing an uneducated trainer from training your dog is you. 🐶
Do your research. Don't take your trainer's word on their education or certification. Being a "professional" doesn't mean they will train in a way that will get results, be humane, or prevent unwanted consequences.
Make sure you can verify their education, certification, or whatever they claim to have, with a quick email to the governing body they say certified them, taught them, mentored them, etc. Even attendance at conferences about dog training and behavior can usually be verified.
Not every trainer needs to be certified to be a good trainer, but they do need an education in canine behavior. This is unavoidable if you want to be a good trainer.
Education can be verified in many different ways and someone on the up and up should be happy to present some proof to you.
Do your research. Ask deep questions. Think critically before hiring anyone - contractor or dog trainer. 😂