Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dog Training: Where do You Start?

It’s the million dollar question, right? The most common answer is, ‘at the beginning’. Sure, it’s great to start when they’re young, puppies. Establishing good dog behavior and engraining it as they grow is always optimum.

But… what do you do when your dog is already a year or two, or three, or more old? What if an older dog is new to your home? What if your life long pet is being introduced to new family members or a new environment? Things change and change creates starting points over and over again.

First and foremost decide what behavior you need or want to address. Whether breaking bad habits or establishing new ones, understanding what it is that’s to be achieved helps create a starting point.

Second, decide whether or not help is needed. Do you have the time, experience and understanding to establish a dog training routine? If you do, great. If you don’t, get help. OK… but now you need a dog trainer.

Finding a quality dog training professional isn’t really too hard to do. Sure there are some that are better than others, but the best come eagerly recommended by dog owners in your community. If friends and neighbors have no referrals, try the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, as a resource.

For additional informational resources check out our books on dogs. Sometimes the best starting point is between the covers on page 1.

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