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What to look for when booking a dog trainer?

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This article has been written in partnership with Isabelle Adams-Papé IMDT, Professional dog trainer from Ringwood Dogs.


Choose a Fully Accredited and Qualified Dog Trainer.

When you decide you want help with your dog’s behaviour, it is important to hire a Fully Accredited and Qualified Dog Trainer.  A quick look on Google reveals there are many trainers out there to choose from which is overwhelming and confusing to the discerning owner trying to find the best trainer for their dog’s problem. It is important that the trainer you choose uses ethical training methods where no force or punishment will be used to train your dog. Using punishment to train ruins the bond between owner and dog and often makes existing behaviours worse as the dog struggles to learn through fear. When looking for a dog trainer – choose one that only uses “Positive Reinforcement” techniques.


Key points to consider when booking a dog trainer.

  • Standards

    There are several organisations in the UK that work towards a code of ethics and all trainers registered with them must also follow these codes of ethics when training your dog. Whatever organisation you decide to choose, make sure the trainer you choose uses ethical training methods and follows the code of ethics by the organisation they are qualified and registered with.


  • Qualifications

    There is a difference between a dog “behaviourist” and a dog “trainer”. To become a dog behaviourist it takes many, many years of study at university level to become an accredited and qualified animal behaviourist. Many trainers will offer both services – in fact most behavioural problems benefit from both training and behavioural modification and trainers and behaviourists often work closely together to help a dog with problems. If your dog has a serious behavioural problem, it is best to contact a certified behaviourist in the first instance. A good place to start in finding a qualified dog behaviourist is the ABTC (Animal Behaviour Training Council) where you will find a national register of dog behaviourists in your area to help with serious behavioural problems.

    To become a dog trainer again takes many hours of study and years of practical training experience training many different breeds of dogs with different obedience problems. The trainer you choose should have gained their qualifications and training from a recognised organisation.


  • Accreditation

    Dog training organisations should have and maintain a national register of accredited and qualified dog trainers. In order to become accredited, trainers would have undergone a rigorous Assessment process to meet the high standards expected of the organisation.  Trainers are Practically Assessed on both their Dog and People training skills to ensure they can deliver quality in four major areas of dog training:

    • Group Classes

    • Home Visit Consultations

    • One to One Training

    • Canine Behaviour Knowledge

Trainers are Re-Assessed every one or two years to ensure Continual Professional Development (CPD) is regularly maintained and expanded.


Hey Muttley’s top tips to find a qualified and accredited dog trainer.

By booking a Qualified and Accredited dog trainer, you are hiring a Trainer that has CHOSEN to be put through an Assessment process - so next time you book a trainer, research carefully, choose wisely and ask to see their qualifications……

Handy links to find the right dog trainer for you:


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Blog Author.

A big thanks goes out to Isabelle Adams-Papé (IMDT) from Ringwood Dogs for her expert advice on what to look for when booking a dog trainer. If you would like to contact Isabelle you can do so at www.ringwood-dogs.com, or via Ringwood Dogs Facebook. Keep an eye out for more articles by Isabelle coming soon.