How do you find a certified dog trainer in Peoria Illinois? When you can actually make a difference in the lives of people and dogs this is the greatest reward possible. Having people say things like “we love you guys” or “this is the best money we ever spent and it has made such a difference in our lives” is music to our ears. It is this kind of response to our services that keeps us going. Likewise, our staff of trainers have the same response to this type of praise. Since we are dealing with the public there are many times that frustrations arise. People can be rude, entitled, chronically late for appointments, demanding, and sometimes just downright unreasonable. Like most businesses we try to take this in stride as much as possible. Over the years however, we have learned that there is a line we have to draw in the sand at a certain point and say “this far and no further.”At times it isn’t really the dog or the owner that is the problem, it is simply the situation.
A couple of situations we see on a fairly regular basis is a mismatch of dog and owner or a mismatch of dog to environment. In this case, training may help the overall situation but cannot totally rectify the problem.Take for instance a client who is in her 70’s who is given a Malamute puppy. The woman weighs in at 100 pounds and has fragile bones. She lives alone without much help from the grandchildren that presented her with this puppy. Or the couple who decided to purchase an adult Great Dane and a Saint Bernard puppy even though they lived in a small apartment without a patio or balcony. Although a trainer can be of assistance in these situations, to some degree the situations themselves create the problem.
How to Find Dog Training in Peoria Illinois
1. How long have you been in the business of Pet Dog Training?Make sure that you are clear that you are asking about the BUSINESS not about how long the person has been training dog, or combined experience with their staff. This is important to know for two reasons. First, you don’t want your dog to be an experiment for an inexperienced trainer.
Everyone started somewhere but I don’t know a single client that wants to volunteer to be the a first where their PET is concerned. Also, you want to be as sure as possible that your trainer will be there for you when you come back for help or more training at a later date. Many dog trainers hang their shingle and then go out of business in 2-5 years due to a lack of experience in running a business or other factors.
2. What kind of methods do you use and how did you develop them?There are three main schools of thought in dog training. The person you are talking with will likely reveal their methods right away by how they describe them to you. First at the far left of the spectrum you have your head halter and click and treat style trainers. These methods are generally best suited to dogs with naturally subordinate natures. This method relies on the giving and withholding of reward as a base method with the clicker to “mark” the correct behavior. While there is nothing “wrong” with this method it does not work well for producing practical daily behavior in a large number of dogs. It is best used as an introduction to commands with young puppies and dogs with compliant temperaments.
People are usually not willing to have a clicker on them at all times. In addition head halters may look more humane than training collars but if they are not used properly they can wrench or even break a dogs neck. Head halters are good for controlling the head of a dog who may be aggressive, or an extreme puller but there are other methods that work for these situations as well.The second school of thought is the better known training collar method which can include various types of collars dependent on the needs of the dog. Standard jerk and release training methods are applied here. Generally ritual behavioral parameters will be set for the dog around the house and corrections utilizing sound, taste, and smell associations will also be applied. There should never be abuse such as kicking, hitting, or hanging, associated with this method. There should be reward associated with this method as well.
Such rewards can be intermittent food, toy, verbal, and physical praise. This is a centrist style of training.The third and final style of training is the far right extreme of using a shock collar as the basis or part of Pet Dog Training. Shock collars are tempting to people simply because you push a button to to correct the dog and do not need the physicality of using a manual correction. The basic problem with this is that shock tends to make such an impression on the dog that it effect the entire nervous system. Dogs with weak nervous systems to begin with can become extremely nervous anticipating the next shock and can shut down all together. It is a sad fact that the same pets store chains that will not allow their “trainers” to us any sort of correction for fear of legal repercussions will sell a shock collar to an unsuspecting customer in a heart beat simply because it is a high ticket item.
It is true that there are uses for shock collars in more advanced applications such as sport and police dogs but the difference here is that they are utilized in most cases by seasoned trainers and not shock happy owners who have no understanding of the proper use of this device, let alone the consequences of using it on the wrong dog or improperly. It is our opinion that shock should never be used by Pet Dog Owners. The possible exception to this rule is extreme dog on dog aggression. Even in this situation the collar should be first utilized by the trainer, and the follow up training with the owner should be extensive.3. Once you determine the method that is right for you a type of training must be selected.
There are 4 basic types of training available: Group Classes, Private On Field, Private In Home, and In Kennel Training (this should always be followed up by lessons for the owner preferably on the trainers field and in your home).
Group Classes: The least expensive but typically also the least effective. The reason that group classes are less effective is that you share time with several other people and dogs. There is also a high drop out rate due to the fact that life happens, people get ill, something comes up with the kids etc., and the class goes on without you. Past a certain point it is hard to rejoin the class.
Private On Field: One step above group classes is Private On Field. These are generally offered at the trainers field once per week but the lesson is strictly for you and your dog. Like group classes there is very little if any problem solving because the trainer is never in your home. The good thing about Private Field Lessons is that they are yours and therefore can be rescheduled in most cases if you are ill or find yourself otherwise engaged. Because the trainer doesn’t have to drive to your location this is less expensive than In Home Lessons.
In Home Training: This form of training works well for problems and manners around the home because the trainer is there in your environment to help you with these issues. As with the two courses outlined above the training depends almost exclusively on your following your homework with the dog daily. This training is more expensive than the courses above because it is based on your convenience and the trainer driving to your home each week.
In Kennel Training: This form of training is the most popular with extraordinarily busy people. It has all of the instant gratification that people want. You drop your dog off at a kennel facility, and pick him up 3-4 weeks later trained. But it is not really that easy! First you need to make sure of the facility that you are entrusting your dog to. Make sure that the trainer actually owns the facility or you may end up with a disappearing trainer or worse a disappearing dog if the owner of the kennel and the trainer part ways. In addition, the trainer in this situation is only at the kennel for a brief amount of time each day and your dog is actually being cared for most of the day by the staff of the kennel. Since the trainer has no say in the employees performance they can be undoing the training as fast as the trainer is training.
Contrast this to the trainer who owns the facility and is responsible for 100% of the care your dog gets. In this situation you know who is the bottom line in responsibility for your dog, and you know that your trainer isn’t going anywhere anytime soon because kennel facilities tend to cost hundreds of thousands if not millions.An in kennel course should always be followed by field and preferably in home lessons for the owner. This is crucial to the success of the owner living with the dog. The owner may wish to have a push button dog when the trainer is finished but the reality is that the training is just fast tracked for the owner. It is still the owners responsibility to work the dog and establish parameters for the dogs behavior within the home environment.
This can be facilitated by the trainer but cannot be accomplished by the trainer alone.Choosing the right type of course for you has allot to do with your own temperament and train-ability and that of your dog. As funny as that sounds it is really true. Any trainer will tell you that it is much harder to train the human end of the leash than it is the dog. Your trainer should always want to evaluate your dog and sit down and speak with you in a consultation before helping you decide what is right for you. Beware of people that will quote you an exact price and time frame over the phone. How do they even know if your dog is trainable? Not all dogs are. Dogs can have genetic issues or medical issues that render them untrainable or at least requires them to visit their veterinarian prior to starting training. Your trainer should council you as to what type of training is right for your particular schedule and your dogs particular issues.
One final word about interviewing potential trainers. Do so with finesse. Don’t approach this process as though you were interrogating the trainer. A good trainer should not mind answering your questions but the conversation should have the tone of give and take. The trainer may want to ask you some questions about yourself and the dog as well. If you approach the trainer in a fashion that is one sided they may assume that you are a competitor doing a competition survey. This is quite common in the business and questions that are overly sophisticated may set off the alarm bells with the person you are speaking to. It is much more pleasant for everyone concerned if you go about your interview by having a pleasant conversation.
When looking at dog trainers, in Peoria Illinois consider the following: