Trainer and Behaviour regulation

At the moment there is no regulation for behaviourists and trainers in the UK. This means that anyone could call themselves a trainer or behaviourist and start to work with owners and dogs. I hope these steps will help you to make an informed decision about choosing the right behaviourist and trainer for you and your dog.
1) There are no quick fixes: If you have a dog and you are experiencing issues, don’t rush into finding a quick fix. This is not the answer and this will never happen. Behaviour modification is very complex and can take months or years to see the benefits of.

2) Be kind always: If someone tells you to do something that may hurt your dog and you are worried about it, don’t do it- just because someone is saying that’s the best thing for them it doesn’t mean that it is- trust your gut!

3) Check up on qualifications: if you are getting a dog trainer or behaviourists ask them where they got the qualification and how long they have studied for- you could even ask for their certificates most behaviourists will be all too happy to discuss all of their successes!

4) Ask about experience: ask your trainer or behaviourist about their experience try and pull in some stories that they will be able to recall, for example have you ever experienced this before?, what did you do to help? and so on. Also ask them how long they have been working with dogs in a professional capacity.

5) Vet referral: Make sure they work on vet referral; this is so that any medical conditions are ruled out to be sure your best friend isn’t in pain! Pain and behaviour changes are linked!

6) Recommendations: Have a look online at reviews, but be cautious some online reviews are fakes so don’t always believe what you see. Try places like google that the behaviourist or trainer has no control over.

7) Practical: Some behaviourists are fantastic with giving out advice but do not have much practical experience, there should be a practical element to every consult, if you are not getting any practical training then you need to ask why.

8) Follow up: Most behaviourists will want to follow up with you to check on progress and ensure you and your pet is still on track and happy. Ask the behaviourist if and when follow ups are likely to be.

9) Reports: Most behaviourists will send a report to you, if you don’t get one follow it up. A report helps you to understand and keep on track with your behavioural modification plan

10) Instincts: Always trust your instinct and your dog, if you feel something isn’t right or if your dog isn’t happy ask yourself why?

I wish you and your pet all the success in the world on your journey through training or a behaviour modification programme.