Whether you are a first time dog owner or an experienced one, everyone can benefit from professional assistance at some point.
Most people wait until their dog is exhibiting a behavior problem before seeking help. That’s too late! Dogs benefit from training and socialization throughout their entire lives. You should consider enrolling your dog in an obedience class as soon as your dog comes into your life.
Obedience and socialization classes have many benefits, including:
Private lessons and assistance from a professional may be necessary if your dog is unable to attend classes, if the behavior problem is severe, or if the behavior problem occurs only in specific situations. It is important to get advice from a professional when your dog is acting aggressively or fearfully, as these behaviors can get worse if they are left untreated or are treated incorrectly.
In the U.S., there is no national government organization that oversees licensing or certification for dog trainers and canine behavior counselors. Just about anyone can call themselves a dog trainer. Therefore, it is important to know how to select a good dog trainer. These links offer some advice:
Group classes are fairly easy to find. You can check with local animal shelters, rescue groups, your veterinarian, pet stores, and local pet publications to find nearby facilities that host classes.
If you need some serious help from a professional, these are some organizations who certify dog trainers and canine behavior counselors:
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors
International Association of Canine Professionals
Association of Companion Animal Behavior Counselors
Animal Behavior Society