Dog training is a completely unregulated profession, which means that trainers can use different methods, have varied experience levels, varied education or no experience or education at all. Many popular dog training businesses are actually franchises where franchisees are taught in only a few weeks how to create a business in this field, with little education or experience. And sadly, on TV there are many celebrity figures with reality TV shows that depict training that is based on debunked, outdated dog training methods.
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has an excellent guide detailing the qualifications you should look for when hiring a trainer. Read them here at avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/How_to_Choose_a_Trainer_AVSAB.pdf
To create a life-long bond with your dog, it is best to use force-free principles so that you and your dog develop a relationship built on trust and clear communication. Brilliant Pup only utilizes force-free methods. Also, understanding canine body language and communication is a skill that will help you understand your dog's behavior and emotions. For more info see: www.ispeakdog.org
Research shows that using punishment based methods tends to create confusion, mistrust, unreliable behavior and potentially aggression. Instead of using outdated training methods based on the now debunked theory of "wolf pack myth" , or utilizing electric shock, startle, choke or prong collars that hurt your pain and can create aggression - positive training uses a method that is free of using pain, force or fear and is based on the latest behavioral science and canine cognitive studies. It is how zoo animals, marine mammals, service dogs and search and rescue dogs are trained.
Positive reinforcement training uses a clicker or a word to “mark” when your dog exhibits a desired behavior, and then your dog is rewarded (usually with a high value food reinforcer). This positive method has been proven to be effective for dogs of all breeds and ages. This is the training method utilized by zoos all over the world to train and handle animals of all sizes. It is also the method used to train marine mammals in marine parks, as well as is now being successfully used to train rats to detect landmines in war ravaged areas such as Cambodia and Sudan.
Emily Wolf holds the gold standard, Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner accreditation for positive reinforcement dog training. Please research whichever trainer you ultimately hire, and determine beforehand if they utilize only positive reinforcement, force-free training methods.