You’ve tried to teach your dog how to behave, and yet he’s still rebellious. Having a dog is a rewarding experience that can give you a loving companion for a good many years, but dog training is often a frustrating challenge. Does your dog have you straining at the end of the leash? Don’t throw in the towel yet! Before you give up, give the following five resources a try.
On a national and international level, The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) are two choices among many that provide an extensive database of canine professionals. What’s more, the APDT offers an international certification program for dog professionals.
Learning the distinction between a behaviorist and a professional dog trainer can be confusing. What is the difference? A behaviorist has a degree in animal behavior study (such as a Ph.D.), while a trainer may or may not. For the latter, a degree in bahavior is not essential to the job. The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants has a nationwide directory that includes resources for dogs, cats, horses, and parrots. The Animal Behavior Society provides a public listing of Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists and Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (ACAAB).
Looking for the right trainer can yield a dizzying array of organizations and local businesses to choose from. If you’re looking for obedience schools, some good starting points are well-established places such as the American Kennel Club, and the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors. For more information about how to choose a dog trainer, click here.
Your pooch’s doctor is always a wonderful resource to start with. In cases like this, you may not even need to have a scheduled medical visit to get a recommendation from your doc. Just pick up the phone, call your vet’s office, and ask your vet if she knows or has heard through word-of-mouth of a great obedience professional in your area. The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists provides a listing of medical professionals who are board-certified. You might ask your vet to look at the list to see if she recognizes one.
A plethora of resources exist for the "Do It Yourselfers." Online, you can look up training methods on video, such as teaching your dog (or cat) through clicker training, leash training your pet, and lots of other things. petMD has an entire section dedicated to different topics on puppy training, and you can find dog training videos on sites such as howstuffworks and YouTube. You can also contact the Humane Society or the ASPCA, both of whom provide free publications on dog training.