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How to Select the Right Dog Trainer for You and Yours

man walking dog on the beach

Congratulations! You have adopted a companion! However, not every dog or pup is well-behaved right off the bat. Oftentimes, your new four-legged friend will need some guidance when it comes to walking with a leash or lead, listening to commands, chewing on things (or people) you don’t want them to, housebreaking, etc. Sometimes, teaching your pup is beyond your capabilities or patience. That’s where a professional trainer comes in.

A certified trainer will usually list the agency/organization that has certified them. If not, then the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers ( is a good place to check. This article from The Association of Professional Dog Trainers about choosing a dog trainer features a search function to find accreditations.

Here are some good questions to ask a prospective dog trainer:

1. Can you provide references, including a vet reference?

2. What is your educational background in training and behavior?

3. What methods of training do you use?

4. Which professional associations do you belong to? If not, why not?

5. What are your credentials and certifications?

You can search for an organization's nonprofit status here:

Before adopting a rescue, please make sure the animal has been seen by a veterinarian and checked out for common breed issues, i.e., hip dysplasia in German Shepherds, and make sure they’re vaccinated. A health certificate and a rabies certificate should be signed by a veterinarian and should include their license number.

If you are considering a professional dog trainer, do your research and due diligence so you can select the right one for you and your companion.


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