In our recent podcast Corey and Guest Host Karen Baxter, both highly regarded dog trainers, shared some great information on choosing a trainer for your new pup.

No matter what level of training you are looking for it is very important to find the RIGHT trainer that you are comfortable with and can help you achieve your goals. To do this effectively there are a few important things that we recommend you do before making the choice of a dog trainer.

1. Determine the training objectives and goals you have for your dog.
Start by getting clear on what you want to accomplish with your dog. All trainers have different areas of expertise.  Dog Training

Do you want a well-mannered dog who is obedient in the community and at home? Then look for trainers who offer a variety of obedience classes, like we do at Muttz with Mannerz™.

Do you want to become an agility superstar? If so, you will want to find a trainer who has an agility background, so they can start your puppy off on the right path getting ready for dog sports in the future.

Or if you are interested in having your pup be a therapy dog, hiring a dog trainer who has that experience and knows what’s required to be a therapy dog can help you achieve that goal with your puppy.

2. Define your value system regarding dog training.
What are your training philosophies and ethics? Often trainers have different ways of teaching and training owners and dogs, equipment will vary, and beliefs on how they train the dogs are going to vary from compulsion-based methods to positive reinforcement. By defining for yourself the type of environment, temperament, equipment, and training method you are comfortable with before you interview potential trainers, will help you determine if they are a fit for you.

3. Decide which training method you want to use.
There are multiple training methods available to you and deciding the method is an important step in finding a trainer who delivers that method. Here are a few available to you:

  • Board and Train – which involves sending your dog away to be trained and having them returned to you with the skills you requested. To reinforce those skills, you will still need to continue to work with your pup after they return home.
  • Private Classes – One-on-One sessions with a professional dog trainer to learn the skills that you need to work together during sessions and in between. These sessions are individual and can benefit those needing a flexible schedule.
  • Group Classes – In group classes, you are led by a professional trainer in a weekly scheduled session to learn the skills with classmates. These group sessions provide an added benefit of socialization for you and your dog and they are also the least expensive.

Dog Training4. Find out what certifications and experience the potential trainers have.
When interviewing a potential trainer, ask about their certifications and their experience with the type of training you would like your pup to have. You would have your goals in mind when having this discussion so find out whatever you can about the trainer’s credentials.

The dog training industry, like others, is continually evolving, so ask your potential trainer how they keep up to date on new ideas and trends as well.

5. Discover what the experience has been of other clients working with the trainers you are considering.
We strongly suggest that you read all available testimonials and ask the trainer for referrals you can call and talk to.

The environment in which your dog is trained is also very important so take the time to visit the facility and ideally audit one of their training classes, so you know exactly what to expect.

To learn more listen to Corey and Karen’s discussion on choosing the RIGHT trainer tune into our Podcast Episode 020: Finding the Best Dog Trainer for You and Your Pup!



At Muttz with Mannerz™ we have a passion for pups and want to help you raise your dog to be safe and a loving part of your family and your community for life.

To learn more about our training offerings, schedule a tour, or audit a class please contact us at 905.640.DOGS (3647) or email