|Barked: Mon Nov 26, '12 9:58am PST |
|To me, it depends.
I'd factor in many things:
- Clientele testimonials and whether or not they got what they wanted, etc(in person or over the phone - website ones can be faked)
- My comfort level of their training techniques(any trainer that has to INTIMIDATE their dog into listening to them is not worth a penny imo)
- The dog itself(this can include its background, breed, temperament and level of training, or how long the trainer has had a particular dog)
- Goals, competitions, titles, etc
- Whether or not they keep up to date with modern training methods, behavior, etc(seminars, books, mentors, etc)
Keep in mind, as was already stated, that often times, dog trainers end up with clients dogs that clients couldn't handle.
A prime example is my dog trainer friend, who ended up with a German Wirehaired Pointer. She had previously been locked, her entire three years, in the laundry room. Was never walked, was never let out, wasn't given any attention, etc. And even became extremely aggressive. In the end, the owners asked my friend to take this dog, because they were going to euthanize her if she didn't - what coercion eh? Anyway.. She took Zoey, and worked through many of her issues. She got her to a point where she could ask her to walk away from a bone when before, she would have attacked over a wrapper on the ground that wasn't even close to either of them. Was Zoey every normal again? No. But she was exercised INCESSANTLY on my friends group hikes, and was very well mannered with other dogs, and well managed around strange people. Was she still a danger? Absolutely, but this is also why she never took Zoey to her classes, unless she had a friend working with her specifically. She also had her muzzle trained for safety's sake too. In the end, it turned out that Zoey was having psychomotor seizures(snapping at invisible flies, unexplainable and random aggression or fear, shaking all the time, unusual head tilting, etc). Zoey collapsed one day while outside for a potty break, and began having grand mal cluster seizures, one right after the other and couldn't be pulled out of it(this was before my friend knew she was epileptic as Vet's had otherwise given her a clean bill of health!), and she ended up having to be put to sleep. I believe this was a year or two after my friend took her in. Did any of it make her a bad trainer? Not by any means. Her other dogs were/are fantastic. Zoey was just one of those dogs.
So it really comes down to several factors for me, because I absolutely would take my dogs to my friends classes - she has excellent reviews and has excellent outcome with all of the dogs that go through her, and even Zoey was doing great in comparison to what she was to begin with, and in such a short period of time too, and health issues considered.
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