When you put your trust in a dog trainer to advise you about educating a pet you care deeply for, you have a right to expect the same high standards as you would from any professional providing a service to a family member.
But dog trainers aren't licensed and they don't have to pass a standardized test or agree to a code of ethics. They may have letters after their names that indicate where and how they received their professional training. That's valuable information, but in itself, it doesn't guarantee that the individual will be right for you or for your pet.
If you ask five dog trainers the same question, you'll probably get five different answers. Nevertheless, most trainers fall into one of two distinct camps.
The first is the positive reinforcement trainer who uses only modern science-based behavior modification. Positive trainers have expertise in behavior modification and learning theory. They get...