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Old 06-18-2013, 09:37 PM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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I'm slowly becoming more opinionated on this subject.

I do think there is a difference between sport (competition ob) type trainers, basic/puppy trainers, and pet behavior trainers.
I think someone taking on serious behavioral cases should have certification and possibly some college animal behavior background. I also think it's one thing if you are helping out people you know, or offering to people who ask for your help, and totally different to advertise yourself as a 'professional trainer'.

I think most people that are dog-oriented could get by in a basic or puppy class. Housebreaking questions, no pulling questions, the basics on getting a behavior..meh, I wouldn't expect too much.

Looking for a sport/obedience trainer...I do expect titled dogs. I expect someone experienced with how to train those exercises, or that combination, or that rally sign. I expect someone that has been in the show ring and has handled various situations and can prepare me for that. I took classes from a woman that bred dogs, and although she had a few novice titles, maybe like one open title, she had no utility experience..yet she was instructing all three levels. Her demo dog was also reactive and snarky, and she did private lessons for behavior problems. Her education seemed fine (certified, had some titles, etc). I didn't like her much.

I can make the best of most training situations. I'm doing a drop-in obedience class right now that I feel isn't very 'instructive'. She will tell you if the dog isn't straight, or the dog can do better, but there is no "You should try...". Maybe it's because it's drop in, but I do feel it is lacking. That might not be a bad thing though, as I was quite surprised at the way she handled her dog last week. The trainer has a fine background with education and experience. I'll keep going until I move though, as it is fine for having some place else to train, and keeping my motivation up.

So, I don't know...I've found bad trainers that have all the right education and experience. I haven't found a really 'fantastic' trainer to compare to.

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Old 06-18-2013, 10:46 PM
release the hounds release the hounds is offline
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Originally Posted by MandyPug View Post
Okay maybe I'll add to the scenario.

What abouy Board and train, doggy bootcamps, or dog walkers or daycares that also train your dog without you there... So not classes where you're really interacting. What qualifies someone to do that?
nothing. That is not an option for me. The people I trust, know I don't need them to train anything and those I don't trust, will never be alone with my dogs
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:00 PM
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adojrts adojrts is offline
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I believe that pet/puppy trainers should have as much practical experience and education as possible. Have a network of other trainers to bounce problems off of and have endless resources. Be continuing with their education. Personally don't care about certification but can be swayed by where that certification was obtained. Puppy/pet trainers are at the forefront of starting someone's education and helping them be successful. Not sure how many sport dogs end up in shelters or PTS, but we know that the numbers are high for a failed puppyhood in the average pet home. So your average puppy/pet trainer had better be good at solving problems, be able to think outside of the box and know a ton of methods to suit each and every different student/dog that comes in the door. And if they don't know, have the resources and care enough to admit they don't know but they're willing to find the answer and go the extra mile for that student or at the very least refer that student to someone they know that probably can solve it. Again networking and knowing when to step on their own ego.

Does the average person doesn't go out and get their first puppy/dog with the mind set of doing dog sports? So the success and experiences they have with a trainer in plain ol obedience/puppy classes does have a huge impact. The person being that trainer should be as qualified as possible and be able to list and prove who they have trained with and the success of their trainers and what seminars/workshops they have attended etc.

As for titles? For a specific sport that I wanted to get into, absolutely. The currant success of that trainer and the success of their students and who they continue to train with is a huge factor for me.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:18 PM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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I agree with a lot of what has already been said about pet trainers.

For a sport trainer, I expect somebody to not only have dogs they've titled in that sport in the past (and generally speaking to still be trialing - sports change with time so it's important to be currently active) but to also have students who have been successful in said sport. Not every student has to compete, of course... in agility there are a lot of people who are just in class because it's fun, not because they ever intend to compete... but the best way to prove to me that you can teach agility is to show me students of yours that are successful.

Some people can train dogs, but they can't teach other people how to train a dog. You have to be able to do both to be successful as a trainer, unless you are in the unique situations where the trainer is in actuality the one training - and working - the dog.

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Old 06-19-2013, 07:21 AM
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mrose_s mrose_s is offline
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To me its experience and general common sense.
I also like a good understanding of the scientific theory behind what they are doing.

I read about training for 5 years before I got Quinn, thought I had a handle on it and I look back now I want to slap myself for the amount of mistakes I made.
Then when she was about 1 year old I did my Cert. III in Dog Behaviour and Training.
That gave me a bit more practical experience and helped my theory knowledge a LOT.

But the main thing that I think has helped the most has been the last 6 months actually working regularily with a trainer and having more and more hands on experience with more dogs.
I am blessed to have the trainer I do. Along with him and the trainer he origianlly got into dogs through I feel like I'm in a great place to keep learning. I have access to some of the top trainers in the country when I need it and have oppurtunities being thrown at me left right and centre.

I really think that the last 6 months equates to more learning/understand of dogs, training and behaviour than the last 6 years combined.

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Old 06-19-2013, 01:23 PM
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Flyinsbt Flyinsbt is offline
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Well, I definitely think there are a lot of people offering their services as "trainers" who shouldn't be.

That said, it's hard for me to think what the best qualifications for "pet" trainers should be. I really don't think titles apply to training pet behaviors, though sport trainers can be fabulous pet trainers, you can have a fabulous pet trainer who doesn't choose to do sports. Having happy clients with well-trained dogs would probably be the best recommendation. As to how people achieve that, probably working with a variety of dogs, and maybe apprenticed to an experienced trainer.

For a sport trainer, I'd like to see advanced titles in that sport, and experience with a variety of dogs. It could be their student's dogs, rather than their own. If I had a BC, I might be okay with someone who never trained anything but BCs, but Staffords don't learn the same, so I need someone who has a broader knowledge base to draw from. They don't have to have trained my breed, just enough breeds that they've learned different ways to problem solve, and to understand that not all dogs think the same way.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:25 PM
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noodlerubyallie noodlerubyallie is offline
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People who train for pets/house manners should always be able to clearly communicate ideas, understand how people learn, be personable, have patience, and be able to tackle problems by finding answers for their clients. I don't necessarily look for titles on this one, but it is helpful.

For sport, I work with people that understand my breed, have lots of ways to help solve a problem, and are successful at what they do. I stay away from people that only train things in one way and refuse to differentiate between a Golden and a Doberman.

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