When a dog is being destructive, aggressive, or anxious, the owner usually recognises that the dog needs training. Sadly, many dog owners try to train the dog themselves with the help of a DIY book, or they turn to their neighbors or friends for help whom have very little education or experience in training dogs, instead of hiring a dog trainer. The common misconception is that dog trainers are too expensive or the dog will forget the lessons they teach. This leads many people to wonder if hiring a dog trainer is worthwhile?
The answer is yes; they are definitely worthwhile. So here are nine reasons why you should hire a dog trainer for your misbehaving pooch.
1. Dog Trainers Are Highly Educated and Experienced
Dog trainers are much more skilled and educated than the average dog owner, which is one reason they have better success at teaching your dog than you do. There are two types of dog trainers- obedience trainers and animal behaviorists- each with their own set of special skills and education.
- Obedience Trainers- Though many dog obedience trainers are self-taught, they often have extensive experience and knowledge in canine behavior and how to teach dogs to follow your commands. They are very skilled and can usually address the more common issues that dogs have.
- Animal Behaviorists- Animal behaviorists are a special type of dog trainer. To be called a behaviorist, a dog trainer must be certified through an accredited institution and have an advanced education degree from a university. They are skilled at diagnosing underlying conditions that may be the cause of a dog’s misbehavior.
Highly specialised animal behaviorists are licensed veterinarians able to diagnose previously unknown issues, develop a treatment plan, and prescribe medication if necessary. In addition to behavior modification, many veterinary behaviorists have experience in scientific research and working with animal shelters and organisations within the animal industry such as K9 training and search-and-rescue.
Both obedience trainers and animal behaviorists (collectively called dog trainers) have keen eyes for any unusual behaviors that may be a cause for concern as your dog ages. Your puppy may have an affinity for chewing on toys or sticks now, but is he a bit too aggressive in his chewing? Is there a chance he may stop chewing sticks and start chewing your table instead? -Or worse? Well an experienced trainer can detect and correct behaviors that can become progressively worse over time using appropriate techniques.
You Get What You Pay For
Because of the extensive expertise and education that dog trainers have, you can expect their prices to be a little high. However, every cent you spend is well worth it. Their specialised knowledge and experience in canine behavior goes a long way towards helping your dog’s habits. They can easily assess your dog’s needs and tailor their techniques based on your dog’s personality, breed, physical limitations, medical history, and temperament. You, your friend, or neighbor will not know the difference between what works most effectively for a Shih tzu and what works for a Malamute Husky. However, an experienced trainer would clearly know the difference.
If your dog misbehaves, hiring a dog trainer may be the best decision you could ever make. I’ve found that Dog Harmony, a company whom has professionals across the North West of England that have a high level of experience and expertise do a great job at meeting every possible need your dog may have. To find out more information about their services you can click here: https://www.dogharmony.co.uk/.
2. Dogs Train Better with Other People
If you have children, you know that they always behave better for other people. Dogs do the same thing. Training your dog yourself is often difficult because your dog knows you too well. They know what you are willing to allow and how to push your buttons to get what they want. Plus, your deep affection for your dog may keep you from saying “no” when you should. Working with a dog trainer erases these issues by putting your dog in neutral territory so new habits of behavior are more easily instilled.
It is important for every dog owner to remember that your dog is a dog and you are a human. By design, the two of you think and react to situations differently. An experienced dog trainer understands your dog’s mind and how it works, which is why you can trust their opinions and advice. They can help you have a better understanding of your dog and figure out how their mind works so you can continue to meet your dog’s emotional needs while reinforcing new, healthier habits.
In the end, you will save yourself a lot of time, effort, and frustration when you work with a dog trainer.
3. Your Dog Will Feel More Relaxed and Confident
Dogs frequently feel anxious, frustrated, agitated, and even bored because of an undiagnosed emotional issue. This is especially true in puppies and rescue dogs because their history is typically unknown. A previous owner may have abused them, the breeder may have denied them proper socialisation with other dogs and humans, they may never have had the opportunity to bond with the mother, or someone may have used them for fighting rings. Each dog’s situation is different.
Another situation is when a dog is acting aggressively. Dogs who act aggressively may feel the need to be in control. If your dog has a strong pack instinct, he may be unwittingly trying to be the dominant male in the house.
Dog trainers will know which technique works best so your dog can relax, feel more reassured that they are loved and wanted, and more confident because they were taught how to handle the emotions and behaviors they feel when you leave the house. Plus, a mutual respect between you and your dog will grow as you learn together who is the boss and what you expect from them.
4. Your Dog Will Have Better Manners
Dogs who will not come when called, will not stay off the bed, barks at or jumps on strangers, licks incessantly, or pulls at the leash need professional obedience training. They have bad manners that need to be corrected.
Experienced dog trainers teach dogs how to respond to verbal commands and hand signals so they behave as they should. During training, dogs are first taught the seven basic commands: sit, stay, come, heel, no, off, and down. Depending on your dog’s behavior, there may be other, possibly more advanced, commands your dog may need to learn; however, these are the basic ones every dog should know.
Good dog trainers use positive reinforcement techniques to teach dogs to follow command, and there are a variety of proven training methods. One common method is the “clicker-treat” method. The trainer uses a clicker to teach a dog when he is performing a command correctly. If he follows the command as taught, he gets a treat. There is never any punishment for incorrect reactions.
Positive reinforcement methods work well with dogs. They are easy to understand and adopt, which boosts a dog’s confidence and strengthens their bond with you because they will behave as they should. A dog with good manners helps to create a happy home.
5. Training Provides Stimulation
Working with a dog trainer provides stimulation meaning your dog will look forward to each training session. The one-on-one attention and learning new things excites the mind and gives your dog something to work on every day with you. Since you are expected to practice and reinforce the trainer’s lessons at home, your dog will enjoy the stimulation of daily learning and spending special time with you.
Some trainers work in small groups, which provide your dog with added socialisation so they feel less alone. Like people, dogs who feel like they have friends have a happier and amiable disposition so they will then behave better overall.
6. You Will Learn Valuable Training Skills for the Future
When your dog works with a trainer, it is not only the dog who learns new skills and techniques. Good trainers will also teach you, the owner. You will learn all the same techniques the trainer uses and how to apply them to everyday situations throughout your dog’s lifetime. The trick is that you be a willing participant in the training and daily follow through with the lessons at home.
Your newfound skills will not just help your current dog, they will also be helpful with any dogs you may have in your home in the future. You will professionally know how to command your dog to sit, stay, and come. You might even be able to teach your dog to stay out of the trash bin. However, keep in mind that the skills you know applied primarily to the dog that worked with the trainer. Knowing a few, select techniques will not make you an expert in dog handling, especially dogs with more severe behavioral issues. Consider hiring a dog trainer whenever you have a new dog in the family.
7. Your Dog Will Be More Emotionally Stable
If your dog has come from an abused background, whether physical or emotional, a dog trainer can help them to be more emotionally stable. Examples of abusive backgrounds include uncompassionate breeders, puppy mills, forced participation in dog fighting rings, short tethers to an object such as a tree for extended periods of time, denial of adequate food and water, and unclean home environments that cause disease, and, unfortunately, more. These types of abusive backgrounds set a dog up to be either more aggressive or extremely fearful. Either way, the dog becomes emotionally unstable.
An experienced dog trainer, especially a certified behaviorist, knows the right techniques that can help your dog learn how to trust and accept love again. Your dog can gain assurance and confidence that there are better days ahead. Helping a dog heal from an abusive past can only be done with a dog trainer’s help. Together, you and your trainer can give your dog a new hope for the future.
8. Your Dog, Family, and Neighbors Will Be Happier
Dogs who are unable to control stress or come from abusive backgrounds can often cause havoc for your family and neighbors. Incessant barking, whimpering, and aggression can ruin good relationships with the people around you.
Many dog owners mistakenly believe that their dog will grow out of their misbehaviors only to find that the barking and biting only becomes worse as the habit sets in deeper. Once they realise that the behavior is here to stay, they start adapting to and enabling the behavior by simply ignoring it or making others conform to it. An example of this is when your dog pulls at the leash and wants to jump on people, so you either drag him out of the way or you force the person to go around you.
A dog trainer can determine the reason for your dog’s behavior and address it head-on by teaching them better manners and more positive actions. Most importantly, a trainer will teach your dog how to handle stress and anxiety so your neighbors are no longer annoyed by constant barking.
Hiring a skilled trainer will make not only your neighbors happy, but also your dog and family will experience a better quality of life as everyone learns how to get along and act appropriately.
9. Training Could Save Your Dog’s Life
Most of the time, dogs are surrendered to shelters because of chronic and seemingly unmanageable behaviors. Shelters can make your dog’s emotional stress worse, which makes many people believe they are unadoptable. If a dog is thought to be unadoptable or is not chosen for adoption within a short amount of time, the dog is usually euthanised.
Euthanasia is a preventable outcome. A dog who misbehaves does not have to be surrendered. If your dog is difficult to manage or is causing your family stress, contact a dog trainer immediately. A good trainer can help identify the cause of your dog’s behavior and work through their problems so everyone is happy. If cost is an issue, ask the trainer about a payment plan or any discounts that may be available. Cost should never be a factor in obtaining proper care and training for your dog.
Ensuring Your Dog’s Success
Hiring a dog trainer can be expensive, but the payoff is always worthwhile. Your dog will be more confident, calm, reassured, emotionally stable, and have better manners. They will have something to look forward to each day with you, and your neighbors will feel relieved and happy because your dog is behaving so well.
Plus, because you have made the decision and paid the money to hire a trainer, you will be more likely to be involved in your dog’s success. You will find yourself putting in the time and commitment to make sure your dog receives the best training possible. Your time together will strengthen the bond between you and your home will become a very happy, loving place.