Looking for dog trainer?
If you are hiring ANY dog trainer or behaviourist please, please take a few moments to read through, then watch the video.
Dog training in the UK is unregulated and anybody – yes anybody - can set themselves up as a dog trainer or behaviourist without education and qualifications. Lots of people have lots of experience with dogs but that doesn’t mean they understand animal learning, are ethical trainers or have been tested and examined.
You’ll no doubt have noticed an outbreak of social media expertise on the subject of dog training, everything from “I know about dogs – I had one once” to “my dog did this – I’ll tell you what I did”. Whilst people may genuinely want to be helpful, please be mindful that behaviour in dogs can be complex, with many factors adding to the mix.
There is substantial scientific evidence that using aversives such as special collars which strangle or shock, startle devices and forceful positioning of dogs risks lasting fearful side effects, this is a welfare concern. Positive reinforcement training is now widely endorsed even for serious and difficult behaviour problems by leading animal welfare and rescue organisations.
There are no silver bullets and no quick fixes, we are used to things happening so quickly in our super connected digital age but behaviour in dogs moves at biological speed. A trainer offering “a quick fix” or a “magical solution” should ring alarm bells.
If you’re considering anyone who calls themselves a trainer or a behaviourist please ask them these three questions (if they can’t or won’t answer or if you don’t feel confident that no harm will come to your dog from the training – move straight on)
What exactly will happen to my dog when he gets it right?
What exactly will happen to my dog when he gets it wrong?
Are there less invasive alternatives to your methods?
For further information please read these articles by Zazie Todd, PhD