Bulldogs For Dummies
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If you’re considering hiring a dog trainer because your Labrador Retriever just isn’t behaving the way you expect, use these guidelines to find a good trainer who uses positive methods and can help you establish effective communication with your Lab:

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors, and relatives who have friendly, well-behaved dogs.

  • Ask the opinion of pet professionals, such as veterinarians, vet techs, groomers, boarding kennel managers, humane societies, and rescue groups.

  • Call the Association of Pet Dog Trainers at 1-800-PET-DOGS to ask for the names of dog trainers and canine behavior consultants who use positive training methods, such as lure-and-reward and clicker training.

  • Expect a good dog trainer/canine behavior consultant to understand how dogs learn and to communicate with you — in terms you understand — about how to manage and train your Lab.

  • Ask about experience and ask for references. And check them! A good dog trainer/canine behavior consultant will have extensive experience educating owners and their pets.

  • Ask about correction styles. A good dog trainer/canine behavior consultant doesn’t advocate or use physical punishment (shock collars, choke chains, prong collars, leash jerks, or hitting).

  • Expect fun! A good dog trainer/canine behavior consultant gives you the feeling that training will be fun for you and your Labrador!

About This Article

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About the book author:

During her 30-year writing career, Susan M. Ewing, MS, has written 11 books on dogs. She's served as vice president of the Dog Writers Association of America and president of the Cat Writers Association. She's contributed columns and articles about pets to a slew of publications.

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