What Should You Know When Choosing a Dog Trainer in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh is the hub of Pennsylvania, and as pet parents, it’s up to us to ensure our canine friends feel safe in this humanized world. Dogs are similar to people in so many ways, with their own triggers, fears, emotions, and personal quirks.

Training them allows security, resilience and greater confidence in their surroundings.

The priority is choosing a respectable and qualified professional training company like Sit Means Sit whether you have a newly adopted puppy or an adult dog with behavioral issues. A service like this will not only work with your pup but will train you to teach your dog while at home, offering support during and after.

You’ll find plenty of information on dog trainers in the Pittsburgh area, but how do you choose the right fit? Let’s go over a few tips.

Interviewing A Prospective Dog Training Professional

No regulations govern who becomes a dog trainer in the US. Anyone can develop a website and pass out business cards identifying themselves as a professional in the field. Still, it’s apparent who is dedicated to learning about pup behavior and has a knack for working with animals.

Many have gone through independent certification programs including the CPDT-KSA or the CPDT-KA offered by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

These mandate roughly 300 hours of animal behavior experience assessing the trainer’s skills and expertise with continuing education every three years. How will you evaluate a trainer’s knowledge and expertise? Here are a few questions to ask when interviewing a candidate.

Discuss the equipment the expert uses with their session and what they recommend for working with your pup at home

Aversive equipment including choke chains, prong collars, slip leads, and electric shock collars which are now illegal in a few countries have been scientifically shown to create undo stress with the training process. The only acceptable response to this question would be the following:

  • Long line
  • Treat pouch
  • Clicker
  • Food
  • H-shaped harness

These tools and others are created to invoke a positive experience between the pup and the trainer, but they are not designed to involve discomfort or associate the training experience with any sort of pain. Visit https://www.rd.com/list/puppies-easiest-hardest-train/ for guidance on which breeds are easiest to work with on obedience training.

The trainer should discuss methods for dissuading unwanted behaviors

Unwanted behavior is not something that a pet parent or even a trainer can just stop. The first step is determining the underlying cause—why is it happening in the first place? Your furry friend could need something that’s not being satisfied.

If he needs to chew or shred something, run, play, forage, or sniff, a good dog trainer will help you manage when these things come out in unhealthy ways so you achieve desirable actions. The professional will consider the dog’s regular routine and learn from you what you prefer from his behavior.

Learn the trainer’s techniques with a fearful, anxious, or stressed canine

One of the primary methods for understanding your fur baby is learning his body language. Competent dog training professionals are well-versed in canine vocalizations and body language, with ready recognition when a dog is fearful, stressed, or anxious.

When the dog produces these signals, the sessions are adjusted to accommodate these feelings and, instead, bring the dog to a more comfortable and content point, more accessible for learning.

An excellent method for vetting prospective trainers to work with is to view the dogs on the company’s social network or website to gauge their demeanor. Do they appear content with a “relaxed mouth, loose body, soft eyes?”

Or are the pups stiff with tails tucked looking more stressed and afraid. Click here to find out if you need a dog behaviorist.

Find out the stance on continuing education

Remaining current on education is critical for the most qualified trainer since updates on certificate programs, new conferences, and relevant studies are always made available. The evolving professional will want to grow in their field constantly to offer their clients the best skills and techniques.

This benefits new pet parents and pups, and the dog training expert can continue to be an excellent resource for those who complete the program. Pet parents will always have questions up through senior-hood with their pup, so having this resource is invaluable.

Class observation

As a rule, most respectable services will encourage pet parents to sit in with their pup on a class so you can gain insight into their methodologies. In addition, you should be privy to previous and current clients who have benefited from the sessions.

A trainer should have a strong following of clients who stand behind the professional’s reputation, expressing positive feedback and satisfaction from their experience. These details will help you to determine if this trainer will be a good fit for your pup and you.

It’s also wise to check authoritarian and third-party sites for impartial reviews which usually weigh the advantages and downsides of working with a particular company. Some of these will rate a service and provide complaints that have been made against a company.

It’s essential to pay attention to how the service resolves complaints. When there are few complaints, and considerable effort is made to resolve the issue to the client’s satisfaction, that can reflect a good trainer in the same vein as a high rating.

Final Thought

Being the hub of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh can be a stressful place for dogs to maneuver. That makes it important to start training early to make sure your pup feels secure in his surroundings. While many trainers are available, it’s wise to narrow the search to roughly three choices before committing to one.

The best way to make a final decision is to attend a class and observe the methods and the other dogs in the setting.

A training expert whose qualifications are deeply rooted in compassion, science-backed techniques, and a thorough understanding of canines’ body language, vocalizations, and behavior and a desire to continue learning is key.


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