Why your dog trainer’s certificate may not mean anything

Should my Montreal dog trainer be certified?

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In my opinion - it doesn’t matter & I will tell you why
There is no standardized certification process - no “one” way. So anyone can claim to be a certified trainer as long as they can print out their certification.
That’s all it takes.
Moreso than a certificate what does matter is that the trainer be experienced in the venue you are looking to train your dog and have a long track record of producing the results you want. They should also have a great reputation with past clients - word of mouth is the best advertising for any business and the best way to shop around if you are looking to hire someone for anything really.
After being in business for over 20 years and having successfully trained 1000’s of dogs all over Montreal, Ontario and training dogs from across Canada and the US - word of mouth is where 90 percent of my clientele comes from.

Who is doing the certifying?

I know someone who is a “certified” dog trainer and is scared of dogs.
What did she do? Started boarding dogs in her home instead of working as a certified dog trainer. 2 days in and loving it she was posting all over Facebook asking how to remove the pee smell from her floors.
Does this dog trainer sound competent to you?
Does this sound like someone you want helping you train your dog? If she doesn’t know how to keep a puppy from having accidents and how to remove urine stains - which doggy training 101 - does she sound qualified to be giving out advice on training dogs? What if the issues are even more advanced than puppy stuff and someone’s dog’s safety or a child’s safety is at hand - in the case with aggressive dogs - or dogs who bolt and don’t come when called - posing a risk to the dog and those around them?

The McDonald’s of Dog Training

There are dog training franchises in which you pay your tuition fee - and voila! Six to eight weeks later - you graduate and then you are a certified trainer and awarded your sector. Like any franchise they promote the brand and don’t have the best quality control. in other words your franchised trainer is there because they paid their tuition and their monthly kickbacks to the franchise owners.

Not all dog training is equal

More than a certificate I would suggest checking out the trainer’s work through referrals, past clients, watching them in action. Word of mouth is best really - what better and more honest way to evaluate someone’s work - than to hear from a paying customer what they have to say.

When a trainer lead’s with their credentials of certification - I see smoke and mirrors - and you should look deeper into what they are really capable of delivering for you and your dog. After all - you are going to live with the results of their expertise for more than a decade in most cases.

Other dog training scams

While we are at it - here are some other things to look for:

Free evaluations

This is an old sales pitch. If a trainer needs to evaluate every dog before training - they don’t know what they are doing. trainers who do this are just trying to get you to sign. And if they have free time to go evaluate everyone’s dog who calls - why are they so available and who is paying them for their time to train dogs.

Anyone using the term whisperer attached to their name

A Pet peeve of mine - jumping on someone’s else popularity. If you are good at what you do - stand on your own ground and be recognized.

Making false claims

There is a local trainer who advertises as training “with love” and positive motivation yet trains his clients dogs using a choke chain.
This is nothing more than outright lying.
While I don’t like choke chains - they are not inherently bad or dangerous - I just don’t like the deceitful manner in which he approaches our business - making it more difficult for other credible trainers to work with the public and gain their trust.

Choose your dog’s trainer wisely and build a relationship

As I have said - choose wisely and don’t be fooled by marketing scams when choosing your dog’s trainer.
The same golden rule of reputation, word of mouth an individual’s track record both in their success and how long they have been around treat their clients and their dogs both before and after the training has taken place is worth much more than a store bought certificate.