Finding The Right Trainer For You and Your Dog
At Harmony Farm Kennel, located just outside of Kamloops in beautiful Monte Lake, we’ve been passionately dedicated to professional animal care, management and training for over 40 years. We are a dog boarding kennel with A LOT of canine training experience and we know that finding the right trainer for you and your pooch can be difficult and confusing. Firstly, we applaud you for realizing that getting help with your dog's training while they are young, is key to creating a fantastic 10-15 year future with your dog!
There are many different approaches to dog training and they don’t all work as effectively for all dogs or for all owners. Here are a few tips on choosing the trainer that’s the right fit for you – and your dog.
Find The Right Personality For YOU
Take the time it takes and go with your dog for a personal meet and greet with different trainers before you decide. We all have different personalities (as do our dogs) and so it’s only natural that certain dynamics will work better than others. Please note that many trainers have extensive dog experience, however, not all animal trainers make good teachers of people. Find someone that you respect with effective teaching skills, that you can understand and have a good rapport with. Someone you can talk to and feel easy about asking your many questions to is very important. Remember, this is not about the trainer having success with your dog – it's all about YOU creating a wonderful connection that is effective with your dog. Find someone who is a good, experienced teacher and has a patient, calm approach that is willing to take the time (not only working by the clock) to explain or demonstrate techniques and training skills with you. At the end of the day, your positive results are what matter most.
Format – Group or Private Training Classes
Different training methods work better or worse depending on the needs/personalities of each dog and the owner. Positive, humane, effective training methods that make common sense to you, (from a psychological point of view) and that use appropriate motivators (keep in mind that not all dogs are motivated by food) are what you’re looking for when researching methods. If your dog is a very young puppy and has not been off your property much or exposed to other dogs or 'life', perhaps a puppy class is a good start. If your pup has developed socially and now mentally has become a challenge (now in a much stronger body),then you might get more effective guidance with one on one sessions.
Regardless which type of learning format you choose please commit to at least 6 sessions with any particular trainer. Learning takes patience and even though you think you know your dog, new skills and techniques do not always come to you easily! You will likely learn new information that isn't currently your way of thinking nor your body's muscle memory, so give any trainer a healthy chance to work the process to see results.
Just as you should meet any potential trainers prior to choosing, you should also feel welcome to watch one of their sessions before you commit. Look to see that the trainer is respectful and providing encouragement and explanations, as necessary. If classes are offered, are puppies and mature dogs taught in separate classes? Understanding that different breeds have innate dispositions and character tendencies - does the trainer teach all types or specialize only in one type of breed? Does the trainer offer extended training away from their own location? Is homework given? Is support offered in between classes while you are practising at home? Most important of all, does it look like the dogs and owners are having fun, understanding their challenges and finding their way with effective techniques?
If you’re considering group classes, make sure dog vaccines are required. During these covid times, also be sure that masks are mandatory and social distancing is arranged. If classes are indoors, be sure that ventilation is part of the environment, for everyone's health safety.
Dog training is an unregulated industry. Find a trainer that is open about the methods they use and education they’ve had. An educated trainer will recognize any behavioural flags that may be related to medical issues and will advise you to contact your veterinarian before addressing a behavioural issue through training.
At Harmony Farm Kennel we meet all kinds of dogs and understand they all have unique needs and temperaments! We totally encourage any owners that are having difficulty enjoying all aspects of owning their dogs to simply seek out help to know how great dogs can be! It's not expensive, it doesn't take forever and it's simpler than you think, to create the dog of your dreams! We offer one on one dog-owner training sessions for all types of doganailties, all breeds and ages (yes older dogs can learn!). For those dogs with more specific or difficult challenges we also offer board and train options to get dogs well on their way to improved behaviour patterns before continuing together with their owners. Check out our Dog-Owner Training page for a brief description of Patricia's approach to creating a wonderful dog/owner relationship.
We often get asked the same questions and hear similar concerns over and over again. We see common challenges that we are happy to help owners with. See Ask the Trainer page to see if any other dog owners are facing similar situations and read tips on how to deal with them effectively.
If you are making travel plans and want to book your dog in for a kennel vacation, visit Rates & Reserves to reserve now. We provide customized care for all types of dogs for positive ‘home away from home’ experiences, including; huge view windows, personal covered play areas (not a dog park style),individual daily excercise, soothing music, nightlights and bedtime treats to make sure they feel right at home. At our peaceful country dog boarding kennel, located just a short drive from Kamloops, you will find peace of mind for both you and your dogs with stress-free seamless transitions between our place and yours!
We look forward to hearing from you soon!