How do I find good dog trainers?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever relationship

How to find good dog trainers? 

Taking a course with your dog is an excellent way to educate him, learn exercises, be together, and strengthen the bond. This applies to both a puppy and an adult dog.

There are courses at all levels, from puppy or starter courses for dogs who still have to learn everything to ‘Obedience’ training in which exercises are perfected to perfection. What type of training-course is best for you and your dog is different for everyone.

How do I know if a dog school is right? – Dog trainer near me.

The world of dog training is significant, and because the titles ‘dog trainer’ or ‘dog instructor’ (or with a fancy word ‘dog trainer’) are not protected, anyone who likes it can start a dog school. How do you find the right dog school that suits you and your dog and where you teach in a thorough, modern, and responsible way?

You can initially search for a dog school near you by searching the directory, Yellow Pages, or through an internet search engine. Your own vet can also be of great help and be able to help you with good addresses. When choosing a dog school, there are a few things to look out for:

Clicker Training Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 1

Are the dog training instructors qualified?

There are several courses with instructors, dog school instructors must be certified –  Dog Trainer Certification. This way, you know that they have knowledge of dogs and learning methods.


Are the dog training methods used animal-friendly?

A lot has changed in the field of dog training in recent decades. Old methods that were used in the past have been replaced by better, more animal-friendly methods.

In the past, training was often done by means of punishment, now it is known – from research –  that training based on rewarding good behavior (the so-called positive method) gives faster results, less stress on the dog and a better bond between dog and owner

The use of the slip chain in parenting courses is now obsolete. So ask which methods are used and whether the instructors are regularly trained. After all, twenty years of experience says nothing if the instructor in question is not aware of the latest developments in the field.

Is the Dog training tailored to you and your dog?

Every dog is different, every owner is different. What works fine for one dog gives no result for another. A good dog school takes this into account and adapts the method used to the owner-dog combination. If you are forced to keep following one single way of working, even if it turns out to be ineffective for your dog, you may want to look further.

How big are the dog training groups?

There is a lot of difference in the size of the training groups. Some schools work with groups of five or six dogs at the same time, while others have groups of fifteen participants.

If there is only 1 instructor (possibly assisted by an intern) with such a large group, it goes without saying that there is less time for personal guidance than with a smaller group.

Dog Training

Dog Training Method

In some dog schools, the exercises are completed person by person, in other schools, everyone starts working for himself, and the instructor walks around. With the first method, especially in schools with large groups and little guidance, you have the chance that you will be waiting for half your lesson. That is annoying for you, but also for your dog. It can lead to unwanted behavior in the dog because it gets boring.

Content of the Dog Training

Does the course content meet your expectations? Many dog schools now also teach theory about education and how to deal with different behavioral aspects. This can be very useful, especially if you have a dog for the first time. In that case, it is also very nice if you take this theory home on paper.

If you are an experienced dog owner and you are mainly concerned with training exercises, then this may be a waste of time for you. However, someone who has had dogs for years can also benefit from the latest information in dog training and education.

Group composition during Dog Training

How are the groups composed? Some dog schools put all dogs together that register; for example, in other schools, the puppies are classified by size. This can also play a role in adult dogs, especially if, for example, they play after the lesson.

It is helpful if the dogs in a group are at about the same level of training,  this will help you to monitor progress much easier.  It is also essential to know if there can be dogs in the group with behavioral problems that may disturb the lesson and how the instructors deal with them

Terrain and accessibility Dog Training

The practical side: can you easily come to the dog school with your dog? And how is the terrain: a muddy lawn is no problem for some, but if you are not very mobile, this is something to take into account.

If you have a dog that runs away quickly and there is no fence on the training field, this could be a disadvantage if you also work off the leash. An area with a lot of activity all around can be pleasant for a puppy because he gets used to all kinds of environmental factors. Still, for a somewhat anxious or a very quickly distracted dog, it can disrupt the training.

Cost of a Dog Training

Of course, the costs of the course are also important. There is a lot of difference in that. Balance the cost against how much you get for it. Larger groups are often cheaper, but you usually get less attention. The number of lessons you receive for a certain amount also differs.

It should suit you

It is very important that you feel comfortable with the instructor and the methods used. That is why it is very nice if you can attend a lesson in advance to see if it appeals to you. That way, you can see how the instructors treat the students and the dogs, if you like the way of training, in short: whether this course will suit you and your dog.


There are several associations that qualified instructors can join and dog school franchise chains that work according to certain methods. Here you can request addresses of affiliated instructors in your area:

Always pay attention of this post and points described when choosing a suitable dog school for you and your dog.

These days there are  also good online trainings that you can follow too, often they take you step by step through the various training-steps with good video’s and other training material. Especially if you are a busy person and have difficulty to free up some extra training time this could be a very good alternative. Needless to say that all goes with determination and discipline when training you puppy of dog.

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Nova Scotia Ducvk Tolling Retriever

About us

Hi, welcome to my blog about the amazing breed Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever!

My name is Eline van Stiphout and I live in The Netherlands. Together with my husband Arthur and our sweet Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Stippy, the three of us love to travel and go on outdoor adventures. 

Currently, I’m a professional, fully licensed dog walker since 2017. I gave up my stressful fulltime office job to follow my dream which is working and walking with dogs.


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