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Choosing a Dog Trainer

In some areas, there are very few trainers to choose from. In others, the market is saturated with them. In either case, it is worth taking the time to make a truly informed decision. Sometimes bad training is worse than no training at all. If there is no suitable trainer in your area, consider books, DVDs, the Internet, and other resources to help you learn to train your dog.

ideaTIP #1 - Observe the Trainer interacting with his/her own dog.

This does a couple of things for you. First, you can see how well-trained the Trainer's dog is. If they haven't successfully trained their own dog, how can they expect to help you train yours? Second, it lets you see what kind of relationship the Trainer has with their dog. If it's not the kind of relationship you want with your own dog, you can find another trainer. For example, if you don't want your dog to fear you, you don't want a trainer whose dog is afraid of her.

If they don't have a dog of their own, it really begs the question of why they chose dog training as a profession. I mean, would you want to go to a Dentist who has no teeth?

ideaTIP #2 - Observe a Class.

Most reputable trainers will allow you to observe a class without your dog before committing. This gives you the opportunity to see the methods and teaching style of the trainer. If you are uncomfortable with anything you see, you know this isn't the right class for you and your dog. Also, without your dog there to occupy your attention, you can focus on the other dogs in the class. While many dogs are worried in initial training classes, they should not be overly stressed.

ideaTIP #3 - Ask your dog's Veterinarian.

Veterinarians are excellent resources for Trainer referrals. They have the inside scoop of who is a good trainer and who isn't.

ideaTIP #4 - Check for Qualifications. 

You need a license to cut someone's hair. All you need to train a dog is someone willing to pay you to do it. Anybody can claim to be a dog trainer. Make sure they are qualified. Do they attend professional seminars? Do they keep up with the latest breakthroughs in behavioral science? Do they have any certifications or professional memberships? Many very good dog trainers were self-taught, but their qualifications will speak for themselves.

ideaTIP #5 - Go with your gut.

Often, we feel that little twinge that tells us something isn't right. But, we ignore it because we don't trust our gut. Just remember that not everyone who claims to be an "expert" is, and your gut will not steer you wrong. It's better to err on the side of caution.

Recommended Trainers in the Midlands, SC

Woof UWoof University, LLC

Attend interactive classs to learn how to teach your dog useful obedience commands such as Sit, Stay, Down, Controlled Walk and also addresses Behavior Problems using positive methods. Discussion topics include proper toys, grooming, nutrition, and crate training. Dogs must be at least 4 months old and be current on rabies, distemper/parvo, and kennel cough vaccinations.

Benefits: gain communication skills, confidence, and understanding between human and canine, address frustrating behavioral issues, provide socialization for puppies and vital re-socialization for rehomed shelter dogs through obedience exercises.

In-home private consults also offered for dogs who cannot attend group classes due to aggression or excessive fear.

Dawn O'Cain & Kelly Whittington, owners/instructors, members of Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Call 803.356.7468 to enroll.


lightbulbPawsitive Results, L.L.C.
Learn how to communicate with your dog in language he can understand. We'll help you learn how to train your dog to be a well-mannered family companion. All using reward-based methods so you can build a lasting relationship. Pawsitive Results, L.L.C. is owned and operated by Teoti Anderson, CPDT (Certified Pet Dog Trainer).

Companion Dog Obedience - Graniteville, SC

Instructors, Laura Phillips and Elizabeth Burgess, will show you how to train your dog to be a good citizen at home and away! The course includes training in basic obedience (sit, down, stay, heel, come) and beginning agility (tunnel, weave poles, jump through a hoop). Each class is limited to 15 dogs. Children under 10 years of age should not be the primary trainer. However, well-mannered children may participate under an adult's supervision. Clean-up supplies, drinking water for the dogs and reference materials will be provided. You can anticipate a lot of individual attention in this class as you learn some new tricks on training your dog for a lifetime of good behavior. For more information, please call the Park at 663-7552.

Recommended Trainers in the Upstate, SC


Dog Trainer's WorkshopDog Trainer's Workshop

We're a dog training and boarding facility near Greenville, South Carolina, halfway between Atlanta (GA) and Charlotte (NC). We offer classes and private lessons in puppy, beginner, and competitive obedience, as well as special consultations for problem behaviors. In addition to group classes and private lessons, there are daily, weekly, or long term in-kennel training by nationally recognized trainers. All boarders are housed in a state-of-the-art indoor/outdoor facility.



Recommended Trainers in the Lowcountry, SC

The Learning Canine

Serving the Tri-County area - Including, but not limited to Charleston, N. Charleston, Hanahan, Knightsville, Summerville, Dorchester, Ridgeville, Jedburg, James Island, IOP, Daniel Island, Monks Corner and Mount Pleasant.

I have been working with dogs and their owners for many years and there is nothing which satisfies me more than to see a happy dog and a happy owner! My mission is to help you and your dog enjoy many happy years together.


GentleWay Dog TrainingGentleWay Dog Training, LLC

"Good Dogs, Happy People" since 1992


We employ Positive Reinforcement using the Clicker Training Method - proven techniques that build a solid foundation of love and trust between owner and canine companion.  No choke collars are ever used! Two locations in Myrtle Beach.

Recommended Trainers in Charlotte, NC

Ahead of the Pack Dog Training

Dogs Behaving Badly

P. O. Box 90060 •  Columbia, SC 29290  •  (803) 622-9813 •  caretoadopt [ at ]