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Is there a Wolf at Your Door?

As much as I love wolves in the wild I am not certain I would casually invite one into my home to meet my domestic dog family. At least not without checking their vaccination and socialization history. And so it puzzles me as to why when it comes to choosing a dog trainer or any other person that does services in the home, that people are so trusting of what could potentially be a "Wolf at the Door".

Here are some things to keep in mind for safety's sake:

What are the individuals credentials and professional recognitions? You may have to examine the legitimacy of their memberships or do a quick google search to see if they have any legal actions or complaints regarding their services. Do they carry liability insurance? Are they licensed. Since just about anyone these days can train dogs thanks to a lack of licensing, and the fact that many unscrupulous trainers have latched onto the media to promote their own "schools" to fatten their bottom line and certify themselves, buyers need to interview and weed out the phonies. I am never offended when asked for my credentials. Save the pricing question for the end of your decision making process. Most trainers will negotiate.

Personal references are usually not very helpful unless you know the individual. Who would list a bad reference as a contact? Don't be impressed by self-published books on training. Anyone it seems can write a book for a price with Lulu and Dog Eared Publishing.

What you should look for? Attend a class and observe the trainer to see if their training style meshes with what you consider to be important. Increase your knowledge of traing styles. Do you feel more comfortable using positive reward-based training or sterner punishment-oriented styles? Does the trainer have experience working with children or a college degree perhaps in Education or Behavior in order to break down and adapt the lesson to your entire family?

And what fun do they have with THEIR OWN dogs? See if you can meet them. Are they robots or do they still greet with affection? Do they have fun with their dogs?

Most importantly, NEVER leave your dogs or human children alone with someone you have just met, hide all personal information and trust your instinct if something doesn't feel "right". These are after all strangers to your home and trust after all and confidence is earned no matter what the species!

(C)2013 Dorice Stancher, Canines Can Do llc All rights reserved. Yes, all of them.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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