Every year unscrupulous persons calling themselves behaviourists, animal
consultants, pet advisers, trainers, etc are fleecing thousands of dog
owners throughout the world. There are a number of genuine people who
provide a really good service but there are many more that do not.

SOME SIMPLE RULES

   1. Make sure that you are not being charged £80 – £100, 10 – 20,000 pesetas, $120 – $150 or
      more for the initial phone inquiry and obtain details of all costs you
      are likely to incur.

   2. Find out all you can about the particular organisation before
      making any form of commitment.

   3. Read advertisements carefully. No way in the world can you be
      sure of “Immediate results with a lifetime of the dog guarantee”.

   4. Ask to see the dogs owned by the person who will be helping you.
      Just because someone has a Border Collie or German Shepherd
      that will walk beside him/her like a zombie is no proof that they
      can help you with your Beardie, Terrier or Jack Russell which
      chases the postman or barks at next door’s cat. Someone with a
      fat and lazy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will not necessarily be
      able to help stop your Rottweiler lunging at everything in sight.

   5. Be especially wary of anyone who wants to take the dog away
      from you to train, even if only out of sight for a few moments.
      Professional trainers do not take dog away for training.

   6. Watch out for the person who gets very high scores in obedience
      trials and claims to be able to cure all basic behaviour problems.

   7. Never go to a trainer for novice/open/utility run-through who has
      not trialled a dog in the last year or two. There are some that are
      still trading on past glories of many years ago.

   8. No matter what problem you have with your dog always try to
      shop around a bit. It may take a few days longer to find someone
      you are really happy with but that could also make ten years
      difference to the life of your dog!

   9. If a trainer uses a choke chain then this is not a registered trainer.
      All professional trainers who are registered with organisations like
      the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), Federation of Dog
      Trainers (FDTCB) The UK Pet Dog Trainers (UKPDT) do not
      use Choke or check chains and certainly not pinch collars. All
      members are required to sign contracts that they will not use this
      equipment.

I could write much more on this subject but what I really want to do is
turn dog owners away from the incompetent and unscrupulous money
grabbers. If you find a really good trainer/behaviourist tell the world, and
the same applies if you find one that is not so good.

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