Not all dog trainers are specialists in dog behavior, so ask to make sure the person you choose has experience in dealing with the problem you need to solve. Take your dog to the vet to determine if an underlying medical problem is influencing the dog's behavior. Dog training and dog behavior consulting are unregulated so it is up to you to decide whether the professional that you choose is qualified. If your dog is aggressive with other dogs, be sure to mention this so that you can have private lessons prior to enrolling your dog in a group class. Talk to more than one person if you can before you choose. Be sure that you understand their methods. Be sure that they will use a positive reinforcement-based approach.
If a trainer suggests that they take the dog into their facility to do the training, be sure to visit and see the facility and the dogs currently in residence. Ask to see the trainer working with a dog to see that the dog is happy and likes the trainer and that positive methods are being used. A trainer that uses violence or aggression with your dog will make matters worse and the dog will become even more likely to bite.
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partners - A network of force-free professional dog trainers
Victoria Stilwell Positively Trainers - A network of force-free professional dog trainers
Dogs and Storks presenters - if you are concerned about your dog's attitude or behavior towards your baby
The Pet Professional Guild - The Association of Force-Free Pet Professionals
The DogSmith - A network of force-free professional dog trainers
Pet Professional Guild - British Isles. The Association of Force-Free Pet Professionals
Pet Professional Guild - Australia. The Association of Force-Free Pet Professionals
Contact us if your organization is not listed here and you feel it should be. If you want to be listed in any of the other directories listed here, please contact the managers for each one. Doggone Safe has no affiliation with any of them. They are listed here as a service.
Please note that any method of training that involves physical force, intimidation or fear or involves throwing things at or toward the dog, yanking the dog, choking the dog or using electric shock (regardless of how mild) can cause behavior problems to worsen and can be dangerous to family members. For example if the dog is frightened or intimidated in the presence of a child he may associate these negative feelings with the child, increasing the chances of a bite. Please visit our blog for more information from experts (including the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior) on why you should avoid dog trainers that rely on intimidation and dominance in training.