Dog Trainers are people or companies that you can hire to help you train your dog to mind its manners and perform tricks. More importantly, if you are thinking of giving up your dog because it is aggressive, has separation anxiety, or other behavioral problems that your household is finding it hard to deal with, you might consider hiring one of of these dog trainers first. Give your dog a chance to show what it can do; it may surprise you!

The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior has 2 articles on selecting a trainer or other behavior professional that uses humane and scientifically-correct techniques. How to Choose a Trainer,Types of Behavior Professionals.  The American College of Veterinary Behaviorists also has an article on selecting a dog trainer who utilizes humane training techniques.  Not related to either of these organizations is the following link:Standards For Excellence In Dog Training.

It is important to know how to choose a dog trainer because dog training is currently a divided profession. There are many who continue to train dogs using compulsion based approach while others have move on to more humane methods such as shaping, capturing, or lure-reward training. Thus before deciding on a dog training school for your dog, it is best to understand for yourself, the differences between these training methods, assess for yourself which method you are more comfortable with and from there, make a decision on which school or dog trainer to approach. This article gives a good insight on the difference between the clicker and compulsion dog training.

Typically, a positive reinforcement trainer, when training a dog, employs predominantly positive reinforcement (providing anything your dog wants when he does a desired behavior) and occasional negative punishment (removing something your dog wants when he does an undesired behavior). Hence such methods have been termed as more humane and dog friendly since fear or pain is not a factor. Conversely, the traditional compulsion based dog trainer relies heavily on positive punishment (e.g. physical corrections for undesired behavior) and negative reinforcement (stopping an aversive stimulus when the dog does a desired behavior) to get the job done. Refer to this article on the 4 quadrants of operant conditioning to understand these methods better.

Lastly, nothing beats attending a dog training class without your dog to see if the owners and their dogs are having a good time. While there, take the opportunity to talk to the trainers and understand their training philosophy.

Dog Trainers in Davis

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