Top 9 Questions to Ask a Dog Trainer

Questions to ask a dog trainer

Need help choosing a dog trainer who can bring out the best in your furry friend? Look no further! Discover the 9 most essential questions to ask a dog trainer to ensure a positive training experience for both you and your beloved pet.

1. What training methods do you use?

One of the most important questions to ask a dog trainer is what methods they use. When selecting a dog trainer, it's vital to understand their training methods and philosophies. Opt for trainers who embrace positive reinforcement dog training, a highly effective approach that focuses on rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing undesired ones. Positive reinforcement creates a cooperative and trust-based relationship with your dog.


2. How long have you been training dogs?

Experience matters when it comes to dog training. Look for a trainer with a proven track record. Years of experience demonstrate the trainer's ability to handle various behavioral challenges and their understanding of canine psychology. The difference between a good trainer and a great one lies in their ability to troubleshoot training challenges. This skill develops over time with the right experience.

3. What training and education do you have?

A trainer's education plays a crucial role in their skill set. Inquire about their dog training education, including courses, certifications, and workshops they have completed. Look for trainers who continually expand their knowledge and stay up to date with the latest training techniques. The Academy of Pet Careers offers comprehensive dog training programs that equip trainers with the necessary skills to address various training needs.

4. Do you have a dog training certificate?

A dog training certificate is a testament to a trainer's knowledge and expertise. It demonstrates their commitment to professional development and adherence to industry standards. Trainers who have obtained a certificate have undergone rigorous training and have met specific criteria to ensure quality dog training. Graduates of reputable organizations such as The Academy of Pet Careers have proven their skills and earned a certificate.

5. Can you provide referrals?

Contacting referrals is an excellent way to gauge a trainer's credibility and reputation. Ask potential trainers for references from previous clients. Speaking directly with these clients can provide valuable insights into the trainer's effectiveness, professionalism, and client satisfaction. Most trainers will gladly provide referrals because the training industry is built on trust and relationships. If a trainer refuses to share contacts, be cautious of their reputation.

6. Do you offer a guarantee?

Surprisingly, a guarantee in dog training as actually a red flag. Any experienced trainer will tell you that they cannot guarantee results because each dog is different and the success of training falls heavily on factors outside of the trainers control. A guarantee is a false promise and a sign that you may be dealing with a less experienced trainer.

7. What equipment do you use?

The equipment used during dog training can significantly impact the training experience. Ask trainers about the tools they employ and their rationale behind their choices. Look for trainers who prioritize positive reinforcement techniques and utilize equipment that aligns with this approach. Graduates of the Academy of Pet Careers advocates for humane training methods and emphasizes the use of positive reinforcement over aversive techniques.

8. What do you do if the dog gets it right?

When your dog exhibits desired behaviors during training, it's essential to reinforce their successes. Inquire about the trainer's response to correct behavior. Positive reinforcement trainers will reward your dog with treats, praise, or playtime, encouraging them to continue displaying the desired actions. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key components in successful training.

9. What do you do if the dog gets it wrong?

Mistakes and misbehavior are part of the learning process for dogs. Ask trainers about their approach when your dog makes a mistake. Positive trainers will focus on redirection and ignoring without resorting to harsh punishment. if a trainer mentions the use of punishment, correction, shock, intimidation, or any other action to reduce the likelihood of an unwanted behavior, they are not concerned with the human-pet bond and are going to do more harm than good.

Finding the right questions to ask a dog trainer can make all the difference in your canine companion's behavior and overall well-being. By asking these important questions, you can ensure a positive training experience, strengthen your bond with your dog, and set them up for a lifetime of good behavior. Remember, The Academy of Pet Careers offers reputable training education, providing you with peace of mind and confidence in your trainer's expertise.

Joseph Schifano Author Headshot
Joseph Schifano

Joseph Schifano is the President of The Academy of Pet Careers and the Founder of DogNerdly.

With over 20 years of professional pet experience, Joseph began his journey as the owner/operator of a successful seven-figure pet care business. He later acquired The Academy of Pet Careers, aiming to elevate the quality of care provided by industry professionals. This position enabled him to connect with leading experts in the field and deepen his knowledge in all aspects of pet care.