What to look for in a trainer - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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What to look for in a trainer

We all give advice to "find a trainer" or "find a new trainer". But WHAT should people be looking for in a trainer?

After training for two years and not getting the results I wanted, I stepped back to think about what I wanted in a trainer and found a new one.

1) Familiarity with the breed. I wanted someone who understands the traits of the breed I have and knows how to channel the strengths and weaknesses of that breed.
2) Flexibility in training. I wanted someone who doesn't use one tool and one theory of training. What works for one dog, may not work for another.
3) Experience and results. I wanted someone who had ribbons. I wanted to see evidence of successful training.
4) Fair methods. I wanted someone who could teach me to teach my dog in a way that would motivate instead of shutting down my dog.

I found what I wanted by contacting the local ScH club who directed me to their trainer.

What can you add to this list?




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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 07:31 PM
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I want someone who not only has experience, but has some sort of certification in addition to the experience. If someone hasn't taken the time and effort to attend seminars, expand their knowledge base, etc. then I don't think they'd be open minded. There are many fields where you can 'do the job' without a degree or certificate, but getting that degree or certificate is required. You've put in the time and effort and gotten some experience along the way. I'd like to see that.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 07:32 PM
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Agree with all your points!

I like a trainer that works the dogs enthusiasm and brings a work ethic at the same time as in Bridget Carlsen's program.
There are so many different methods of training and blending them to achieve results is fine, but you need to stay consistent and make sure you are clear to the dog.
From what I see, many trainers are constantly learning themselves so what worked for them 2 yrs ago isn't what they may be doing today.

I wouldn't want to train with someone who isn't attending workshops/seminars or competing in trials themselves.

Jane~
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 07:51 PM
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I got real lucky the first time around, my trainer had all of these traits. When I first met her I liked her immediately. She was a big help with my golden after he was attacked when he was a puppy. She is a Rott person and her Rott's come with her to class, so after my boy got attacked by a Rott, he immediately socialized with one in class. She encouraged me to go out there and get the dogs involved in stuff. As I branched out I went to different trainers and they all were in the same circle and knew each other. She had some health issues with her dogs and she talked to me about it. She cried with me when my mom died. Yes she became my friend and all of my dogs adore her....that was a big plus. We used to joke that the GSD liked her like she was family....and to this day the GSD is excited to see her.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 08:07 PM
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I want a trainer who had all of that AND puts that stuff on their website so I dont have to hunt it down. My husband has hated ALL of the trainers I have looked at because they dont list their qualifications on their website.

Annoying!


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Narny View Post
I want a trainer who had all of that AND puts that stuff on their website so I dont have to hunt it down. My husband has hated ALL of the trainers I have looked at because they dont list their qualifications on their website.

Annoying!
Have you ever tried to go check out a class, then talk to the trainer? I think that is the best way, then you can see what kind of trainer they are.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 08:15 PM
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I want a trainer that is specific to GSD's also. All of the things that you said in your post Michelle I wish I could find here. I swear there is no one in Spokane except for my breeder. I just wish I had more choices!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 08:17 PM
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My trainer doesn't have a website! I wouldn't judge a trainer by that at all. Most good ones are recommended, word of mouth is more valuable than a website around here.

Jane~
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 08:40 PM
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My trainer doesn't have a website! I wouldn't judge a trainer by that at all. Most good ones are recommended, word of mouth is more valuable than a website around here.

Not when your husband trusts no one and they want to come to my home before I have even met them. Part of the problem is I should have explained to them and met them somewhere else. But they had a website and it offered NO info on their back round which if it did then my husband wouldnt have had a huge objection.

I am not saying that word of mouth is bad. Just that if you do have a website please post proper info.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2012, 10:56 PM
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Besides the things mentioned already, I want a trainer who is easy to talk to and doesn't have the arrogance that a few trainers I've met have. I've met some who have credentials that blow you away,but they have the attitude of doing you a favor when they come to your house. I can do without that.I don't necessarily think a trainer has to have titled dogs in order to be reputable though. It definitely helps,but as long as everything else falls into place,I wouldn't discount a trainer just because they don't title.

Last edited by Gharrissc; 11-18-2012 at 11:05 PM.
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