Angie's List: Hiring a dog trainer

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's important to address behavioral issues in puppies, before they become habits.

Trainers can help fix a number of issues such as barking, jumping, running away and pulling on a leash.

Training methods vary and classes can be taught in group or individual sessions. Some trainers will even take your dog for a few days or weeks and train them at a facility.

"Training a dog takes both the commitment from you and your pet," said Angie Hicks of Angie's List. "We had a lab that was really hyper. She was a young puppy and it eventually required us to send her to training. They would run her on the treadmill and teach her obedience training, but it didn't stop with that. We had to learn all of those things as well and be great re-inforcers once she was home."

While trainers can help maximize results for busy pet owners, you shouldn't skip digging into the background of a trainer before you hire.

"One word of caution when it comes to hiring a pet trainer: you need to do your homework because there is not a single source of licensing for pet trainers," Hicks says. "There's certain certifications that pet trainers can receive so check on those: how long have they been training and what is their experience with the type of animal that you have? And, how are they going to help you transition to being the one in charge with your pet."

Puppies can enroll in training as soon as they've had their necessary vaccinations. Angie's List says you should consult with your veterinarian before hiring a trainer to rule out a physical cause for behavior issues.

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