THE DOG TRAINING INDUSTRY IS NOT REGULATED!!
Read that again, the dog training industry is NOT regulated.
This means literally anyone with the balls to throw up a website and call themselves a trainer can absolutely do that. And so many absolutely do!
Red Flags to look out for:
-Guaranteeing fast results (or guaranteeing results at all) - that verbiage in itself is a sign of someone who has no clue how animal behavior actually works
-Heavy or full reliance on aversive techniques: ecollars (there are so many training companies with massive following that just slap on ecollars first thing-be very weary of this), prong collars, physical correction
-The use of phrases like: pack leader, dominance, alpha. You can read this as code for I’m an as***le who wants to control something to make myself feel and look powerful, and I don’t keep up with any science-based research on canine behavior. The dominance theory is not valid and has been disproven over and over again, yet our culture continues to latch onto it.
-Not allowing you to visit or have full visibility over your dog if it is a board and train
What can you do?
When looking for a trainer, always ensure your trainer is certified…there are a few different valid avenues, but a good starting point would be to ensure your trainer has a CPDT-KA next to their name, or for more complex issues, go to a board-certified Veterinarian Behaviorist (this is NOT the same as a veterinarian—veterinarians are not behaviorists)
Learn the difference between a confident dog who is well adjusted and responsive to training vs a dog who is shut down and exhibiting learned helplessness as a result of fearfulness caused by AVERSIVE training techniques.
Your dog needs an advocate, not an alpha.