How to choose a dog handler for a dog?
Ekaterina Kastritskaya, psychologist, specialist in animal therapy, consultant on animal behavior and well-being
You have become the happy owner of a puppy or adult dog, but you are not sure that you will be able to properly raise and train a pet. A solution that seems logical and correct is to contact a specialist. However, starting to become interested in this issue, you are likely to come across many different proposals and approaches, sometimes mutually exclusive. How to choose a dog handler?
8 tips for choosing a canine
There are recommendations, following which it will be easier for you to navigate and choose a dog handler for your dog.
- It is important that your views on the upbringing and training of dogs coincided. There are many methods of training, but it is best to choose a dog handler who uses not chokes, electric collars, beats and jerks, but a treat, praise, games and toys. This approach is based on the principle that reinforced behavior appears more often, and that which is not reinforced fades away. At the same time, methods based on violence make the dog passive, intimidated and form an aversion to classes and fear of the owner - do you need such an effect?
- be careful. Now many trainers write about themselves as specialists using “only humane methods,” but they do not hesitate to advise the owners, for example, to deprive the dog of water and food, to lock him in the cage for the whole day “for educational purposes” or to use other methods physical and psychological abuse. And if the dog handler says that the dog is trying to "dominate", this is definitely an excuse to delete it from the list - the theory of domination has long been hopelessly outdated and at the end of the last century was recognized as having nothing to do with reality.
- Take an education specialist. A good dog handler doesn’t just “love dogs” and “communicate with them all his life”. He also understands the psychology of dogs, body language, can offer several ways to solve problems and knows how to motivate a dog so that it does not have to be forced. And a good dog handler never stops learning.
- Look what canine spreads and writes on the Internet, including in social networks.
- If a dog handler talks about the fact that some dog breeds “cannot be trained”, it is better to look for another specialist.
- A good dog handler can explain what he is doing and why.. Feel free to ask questions. In the end, your dog, and you make the final decision on how to work with it.
- The dog handler’s task is not to teach the dog, but you - to interact with the dog. Yes, a specialist can show you how to properly teach a dog some skill, but most of the lesson is what you work with your dog under the guidance of a specialist. If a dog handler takes a dog from you and works with it himself, he may be able to teach her to obey ... himself, but you may later encounter difficulties and disappointment.
- Finally, you should be nice to work with a specific person. We all like different types of people, and no matter how professional the cynologist is, if he is not sympathetic to you as a person, you should not torture yourself - it will still be difficult to trust this person.
It is important to find a specialist with whom both you and your dog will feel good and enjoy the lessons. This is not the only, but very important component of successful training.