Service dog training must be appropriate because the safety of the owner can depend on the training of their dog. Understand that training is not what matters but a dog’s ability to function appropriately alongside their owners. Trainers are available in plenty. However, few of them have what it takes to offer outstanding training. Before choosing a provider, it is essential that you research the traits of a dependable one before hiring anyone. Choosing another trainer is still possible, but it might mean more expenses and a confused dog owing to different training approaches. How do you choose the right provider?
You should choose an appropriately trained professional. If they have training, you would be sure that they have what it takes to train your dog. A provider who has graduated from a reputable school would be a good choice. Look for accreditation from a reputable certifying body such as CDBC (Certified Dog Behavior Consultant) or CAAB (Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist). Consider how experienced they are as well. If they have been offering training for several years, they would not experience a lot of challenges training yours appropriately. Look for a professional in good standing with their certifying body.
Consider their training approaches before choosing them. While the trainer would obviously be the expert between the two of you, you should beware of trainers who use unorthodox training methods. Any trainer that uses dominance and controlling when training your animal, for instance, would not be ideal for you. Since different types of dogs might require different types of training approaches, choose an expert with that in mind. In case they would be training your dog for different roles such as assisting in mobility, guiding the blind, alerting hearing-impaired, people, emotional support, police work, etc, you should choose a professional that would not let you down.
Ask about the length of training and their training schedule as well. A typical service dog should undergo training for at least 6 months or for 120 hours. Inquire regarding how long training sessions would last. Make sure that the provider would not focus too much on passing the dog through the program to forget about giving quality training. Since a dog’s attention span can be very limited, especially for puppies, it is essential that you choose a provider with training sessions of an acceptable length. If possible, choose trainers that train for a maximum of fifteen minutes. If you would be picking and dropping your animal, make sure that their schedule would accommodate yours.
Make sure that their services are affordable. You need a professional that would offer comprehensive training at an affordable fee. Get to know whether they have uniform fees for all types of training. In case they would be training your dog in a couple of areas, inquire if they would charge extra. They should also be clear whether they charge the same fees for all types of dogs and all ages of dogs. Get to know whether certificates and any other documents you might need to prove the training of your dog would come at an extra cost.