Dog trainers and behaviourists
Dog training techniques have changed a lot in recent years. Positive reinforcement involves rewarding good behaviour rather than punishing mistakes. If you reward your dog for good behaviour this will encourage them to do it again. If you punish your dog, it can just make them feel scared of you.
Positive reinforcement is used by dog trainers and behaviourists today. Sadly, however, the dog training and behaviour industry is largely unregulated and there are still some trainers and behaviourists who use techniques that are are not kind and good for dogs. This can make it confusing for dog owners when trying to find a dog trainer or behaviourist. Read on to find out how to find a dog trainer or behaviourist who is properly qualified and will be kind to your dog.
When to start dog training classes
The best time to take your dog to training classes is when they are a puppy. They can start puppy school once they have had their second vaccinations. However, training classes can be helpful at any age.
They can also help to prevent unwanted behaviours developing, such as pulling on the lead when walking or not coming back when called. It’s advisable therefore to enrol in dog training classes to prevent problems, rather than waiting until you experience problems.
Local dog training classes
An online search will return plenty of results for local dog training. So how do you find the best one for you and your dog?
Anyone can offer their services as a dog trainer. This is because it is not regulated as a profession in the UK. This can make it difficult for dog owners to find someone who uses the right dog training methods.
The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) has been set up to address this and improve the standards for dog training in the UK. All of its member organisations are properly qualified dog trainers and dog behaviourists. Find a local dog trainer via one of the following ABTC approved dog training networks:
How to stop bad behaviour in dogs
If you experience problem behaviours with your dog, such as being aggressive towards other dogs or people, or being aggressive around food, it’s a good idea to seek professional help. It may feel like you are dealing with a defiant puppy or unruly dog, but your dog may be feeling anxious around other dogs or people they are not used to. A dog behaviourist can identify the cause of the problem and then work with you to solve it.
Read this story: Training my dog the positive way
Puppy or dog won’t stop barking
It can be stressful if your dog won’t stop barking. There are many reasons they may be doing this, including over-excitement, to get attention or because they are feeling anxious. So-called quick fix solutions such as sprays to stop dogs barking can make them anxious and the problem worse. It’s always best to get help with nuisance behaviours such as excessive barking from a dog trainer or behaviourist.
Find local dog behaviourists
You’ll want to find a properly qualified behaviourist to help your dog. Anyone can offer their services as a dog behaviourist. You can find a qualified clinical animal behaviourist via the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC).
Their members include:
Read this story: Finding help for my fearful dog – what I wish I’d known