Ask the Trainer with Allison Jamison Woosley, CPDT-KA

Happy Dog LLC

QuestionMicah, my new puppy, has just come into my home and I want to start training her right away. What should I look for when hiring a trainer?

AnswerFirst, congratulations on your new family member! Second, you are very wise to start training right away. With so many trainers, and varying techniques and backgrounds, it can be overwhelming. My first recommendation is that you look for a certified trainer, who is responsible for keeping current on continuing education. You also want to look for somebody who uses positive reinforcement methods. A good place to start your search is with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT.com.) Another great resource is to talk to other people with dogs to find out who they like. Once you find someone you like, call some references and observe a class before you enroll. If a trainer refuses to let you observe a class, look elsewhere. And speaking of classes, your first one should be super fun! A well-designed puppy class places emphasis on socialization, confidence building, and aggression prevention exercises, time for puppy and people interaction, as well as handling, brushing, nail trimming, etc. Good luck!

Allison Jamison Woosley and LibbyAbout the Trainer:

A certified professional dog trainer, Allison has been training dogs professionally since 2000, using positive reinforcement (reward-based) training techniques that strengthen the bond between people and their pets. After adopting a dog with separation anxiety, she became passionate about helping other pet parents dealing with behavior issues. Allison believes that through positive reinforcement training methods, you can achieve a wonderful relationship with your dog built on mutual respect and trust.

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