What Is Professional Dog Training?

Why it's worth getting some help 🐕

Are you wondering whether your dog's behavior problem has gone from cute personality quirk to, well, a huge issue?

When is it time to bring in a professional dog trainer? And what exactly does a trainer do that you can't?

Turns out, you shouldn’t wait for your dog’s behavior to get iffy for you to call in the experts — you should ideally have them helping you out right from the beginning!

Here's everything you need to know about working with a professional trainer — and why getting them involved as early as possible will make your life so much easier.

What is a professional dog trainer?

Unlike veterinarians, who are there more for the medical side of things, dog trainers are certified to help train your dog’s behavior.

Think of how you’d use a doctor for medical issues, but a teacher or a coach would help children grow and expand in other aspects.

Dog trainers — especially those who train with positive reinforcement — are experts in helping you get your dog where they need to be behaviorally to thrive. They’ve worked with all kinds of dogs — of all breeds and ages — and know how to bring out the best in them.

How does a professional train your dog?

Generally, dog behavior training is simply training your dog to change their behavior via positive reinforcement.

This typically includes things like basic dog commands, house training, leash training and clicker training — just to name a few!

And while doing all of this yourself is something tons of dog owners do try, it’s definitely easier — and quicker — when you have a professional helping out.

Why is using a professional dog trainer important?

“It's always a good idea to work with a trainer when training a new dog or puppy,” Dr. Zay Satchu, cofounder and chief veterinary officer at Bond Vet in New York City, told The Dodo. “Not only does it help solidify the skills you are working on, but also socializes your pup to others and helps them understand they need to listen to commands from people other than you.”

Sure, you might want to grab some dog training books and watch some YouTube videos and dive in to training your pup yourself — but that’s not always the best idea.

While you may have the best intentions, wouldn’t you want to start off your dog’s training knowing you’re doing things right?

After all, it’s easier to start your pup off on the right paw than it would be to make a bunch of critical mistakes and have to go back and fix them!

Of course, dogs can really be trained at every age. And dog trainers can come in handy if your dog develops behavioral issues — like separation anxiety — or if he simply stops following dog commands he once knew.

If you’ve seen many trainers to help address your dog’s behavior issues, you might want to talk to your veterinarian for help. They can prescribe your dog behavior medication if medically necessary.