7 Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Agility Trainer
The hobby and sport of dog agility training are becoming increasingly popular. Modeled after show horse jumping, dog agility training combines both teamwork between the animal and their owner or trainer. As well as strategy and a great sense of competition. Let us look at 7 tips for choosing the best dog agility trainer.
One of the best benefits of agility training is that it provides not only a physical outlet for your dog to release energy but a mental one as well. If you’re interested in having a professional trainer teach your dog the ins and outs of agility training, there are several things you’ll want to first consider.
What You Should Look for When Choosing a Dog Agility Trainer
One of the very first and most important requirements that should be met by any reputable and worthy agility trainer is the strong use of positive reinforcement as a means of training. Positive reinforcement makes training enjoyable for the dog, and also makes them more receptive and apt to learning different tasks and commands.
A trainer, or owner for that matter, should never raise their voice or attempt to intimidate a dog, doing so will merely teach them to fear and distrust you rather than be receptive to being trained or learning new things.
What type of training services does the trainer offer? Usually, there are three basic types provided by most dog trainers, either private or group lessons, or in-kennel training. And, what types of events should a dog agility trainer focus on? Agility courses are comprised of a variety of fun events including jumps and hurdles, poles for weaving, tire hoops, tunnels, seesaws, metered runs, and a host of other creative obstacles.
Find out what types of commands or tricks the trainer plans on starting your dog out with, and how they plan on advancing to more difficult tasks.
Important Points to Remember When Choosing an Agility Trainer
– Survey family, friends, coworkers, and your veterinarian for their referrals and recommendations.
– Ask the prospective trainer to meet first so that you can see how well they interact with your pet, and whether or not the dog seems comfortable and at ease.
– Ask for references from previous or current clients, if the trainer isn’t able to provide any or refuses, keep looking. Make sure to call or email the references with any questions you have about the trainer and their track record.
– Don’t be shy or afraid to ask about the trainer’s experience, how many clients they’ve had, how many years they’ve been training, and what type of competitions or shows their dogs have competed in.
– Find out ahead of time how you will be expected to pay for the training sessions, either at each session, or all at once, and what methods of payment are acceptable. Also, inquire about the length of the course and how long each individual session is expected to last.
– Inquire as to whether or not you will be able to sit in on a session or class, or if you could possibly see a demonstration of their techniques with a dog who’s already been trained.
– The best dog agility trainer will leave their charges with some new knowledge, big or small, after each and every session, but never cause any of the dogs to feel overwhelmed or nervous.
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