Choosing The Right Dog Trainer

Discover The Right Online Dog Trainer

If you live in a big city as I do, you have many options for every service you can think of. I wouldn’t need to leave my neighbourhood if I could get a fresh cup of coffee and a haircut every day of the week. This is great in theory, but how do I choose the best location for my morning latte? Who can I rely on to cut my hair in the perfect fade?

The choice is helpful when looking for a dog trainer, but you risk running into the same problems and risking much more than a lousy drink or a bad haircut.

How can we find the best trainer if we can only rely on Google? Online reviews are rarely fair or balanced, but making a personal recommendation is not always possible. The answer is to master the language used on dog-training websites.

Understanding dog trainer lingo

An infomercial may be compared to a trainer’s webpage. Even though we know that the goal is to get us to sign, if we are observant, we can also comb through the language to uncover cues about a trainer’s approaches and beliefs. Let’s start with the word “effective,” which is used the most and appears on almost every trainer’s website.

Naturally, we all want our dog trainers to be prosperous. Who would sign off on Dave’s unsuccessful dog training? We spent a lot of time and money training our dogs to behave well in society, so we don’t want to feel like our efforts were for nothing. However, there are other, somewhat riskier approaches to reaching training goals. Effectiveness is essential, but so is ethics, which trainers communicate through their language.

The trainers’ ideals are conveyed by words like “compassionate,” “fair,” and “humane.” Still, they don’t provide prospective clients with any more information. All three terms are arbitrary; what you and I consider compassionate training may not be the same. These words bring more concerns than answers because what constitutes “humane” and “compassionate” depends on a trainer’s perspective on how dogs learn and how to teach them successfully.

Additionally, trainers rarely utilize any more precise, objective-sounding terms on their websites. Understanding what they signify will help you get a general idea of the kinds of things that might happen to a dog throughout training. These are some of the most well-known.


Trainers who describe themselves as “force-free” or, in another way “, purely positive” will never consciously cause their students to feel fear or discomfort. They will focus on figuring out methods to reward desirable behaviour that is inconsistent with what they don’t want to see, such as sitting upright rather than jumping up on guests to obtain the desired undesirable behaviour. When the dog misbehaves, they often ignore him while using a clicker, food, and positive reinforcement at the same time.

Even though some trainers may think they only use kind, compassionate approaches, it’s important to remember that the dog’s point of view is ultimately what matters in this circumstance. Force-free trainers who make their clients’ dogs feel bad or don’t teach their owners the skills they need to keep working with their dogs after the session can be annoying, cause anxiety, and even encourage bad behaviour.


Trainers who describe themselves as “balanced” may use various approach tools, such as electronic collars and clickers. Here, there are incentives for good behaviour and deterrents for negative behaviour in balance. Although not all balanced trainers will use every method or balance of positive and negative reinforcement, they all strive to achieve this. Some people use punishment frequently, while others only do so under certain conditions. Many balanced trainers make distinctions between different dog breeds or behaviour problems that they think won’t respond to the types of reward-based methods that force-free trainers rely on.

For instance, even though dogs may pick up information via a clicker and rewards, many balanced trainers maintain that the only way to teach them to avoid rattlesnakes is by associating the snakes with something unpleasant, like a shock. Force-free trainers strongly disagree with these claims, which has caused significant rifts in the dog-training field.


Even though these terms are used less often than the first two, they are becoming more common in professional settings to describe a moral stance and a practical way to train a dog.

The acronym LIMA, which stands for “Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive,” denotes that the trainer will always try the intervention that is least likely to result in pain or punishment first, progressing to more potentially unpleasant options only if necessary.

Dr Susan Friedman developed the Humane Hierarchy to group various solutions according to their harshness. By employing these terms, a trainer might demonstrate to potential clients that they know the most recent ethical guidelines. Trainers that embrace LIMA are highly unlikely to use punishment, especially if there are issues with essential compliance.

Ridge Camps (and other military terms)

This type of language often suggests that the trainer believes using punishment to control behaviour is the most successful approach. Most trainers who advertise that they do this type of assistance also hold strong beliefs in dominance and “being the alpha.” Their approaches can be severe and lead to suppression rather than rehabilitation. Still, they appeal to frustrated dog owners coping with rude and rowdy dogs. It’s probably a good idea to avoid trainers who describe themselves or their techniques in this harsh, militaristic language.

The substance cannot be substituted.

Although analyzing and comprehending these terms provides a more accurate picture of how a trainer performs than the words “humane and effective,” it is clear that each descriptor represents a diverse set of beliefs and approaches.

The best way to guarantee that the information is as straightforward as possible is to ask the trainers directly. You must do your homework, talk to trainers, and ask pointed questions about what will happen to your dog and why. John McGuigan, a specialist in dog behaviour, advises that each trainer be able to reply to the following inquiries with speed: What will happen if she succeeds in getting my dog? When my dog errs, what will happen? Are there any less invasive alternatives to what you propose?

These questions are an excellent place to start, but they aren’t exhaustive and won’t shield you from a pitch. Feel your options if the trainer is evasive and uses terms like “energy,” “sidestepping the subject,” or references to their richness of pain. Additionally, whether any components of the answer intend to inflict harm, frighten people, or do anything else unpleasant. It’s up to you to choose a dog trainer carefully, and it’s always better to risk coming across as an annoying outsider than to put your dog in a situation you weren’t planning or expecting.

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