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If you have to hire a dog trainer, make sure they can do this

If you have to hire a dog trainer make sure they address the problem you are having with your dog, immediately.

** The following is a warning list.** If the dog trainer starts with any of this stuff, boot them out of your house, right away. Because they can not help you or your dog.

  1. If they train with treats or some type of food reward. Or clicker training
  2. If they train with negative reinforcement.
  3. If they train using an exercise training regiment.
  4. If they start off teaching any form of basic obedience training.
  5. If they talk about themselves to much.
  6. If they tell you , ” I specialize in this breed of dog”.
  7. If they can’t show you more than one way to solve a specific problem.
  8. If they train exclusively with a shock collar.
  9. If they tell you Wolves and Dogs are different.

And a couple of other things you should also be aware of.

  • Get the cost of the dog training up front, over the phone.
  • The dog evaluation, whether it is free or you are charged for it. Is just so the dog trainer can see how you live, so they can figure out how much they can milk you, on the training job. *****
  • A dog trainer that knows dogs, doesn’t have to meet the dog first to evaluate him, or you, for that matter.
  • Do not sign a contract. It’s only purpose is to make you think twice, before firing them.
  • Don’t worry they will take your money on a per session basis. If they really care, at all about helping you out. If not, find somebody else.


If the dog training is going to be successful. You should see immediate results that first session. With you handling your dog, Not the trainer handling him. The only time the trainer should be handling your dog, is at the very beginning of the session. And that should be just to prove to you, that your dog is capable of acting in a manner that you like.


Oh yea, one more thing. If they show you how well trained their dog is, then tell you, ” you too can have a dog like this”. Laugh quietly and tell them no thanks. What do you care about that. You just want to solve whatever problem your dog is doing.

Good luck in you search, Its not going to be easy.

The Spirit Dog


14 Responses

  1. Hello Danielle,

    Thanks for commenting and I’m sorry you disagree. Although, I don’t see how you can disagree with the simple logic of it.

  2. Please don’t listen to this guy’s advice it’s not just wrong, but also crazy.
    He has no idea of what he is talking about.
    Why listen to this negative psycho when there are so many other good sources online.
    get out of this page and never come back!!!!

  3. Don’t get me wrong, I see you love dogs. I respect what you do.

    Gorillas like bananas. I like bananas. However, we are not the same. We are very similar in very many ways, however we are two totally different creatures. All dogs come from wolves, just as many scholars believe people evolved from something similar to a gorilla. However, I can’t go into the wild and ask a gorilla or a wolf to sit or stay, or for that matter, make it do anything. I can make a dog or person do as I ask it to do. Wild wolves have evolved into dogs. Dogs are clearly man-made creatures. Little chihuahuas and huge mastiffs came from wolves, but were made by man.

    I think my statistics and my facts speak for themselves. True, you can work with a wolf, lion, tiger, bear, elephant, etc., and make them listen to you, usually if you are with them from birth. But to act like you can just walk into the wilderness and come back with a pack of wolves eager to please you isn’t realistic. I can rescue a dog from a pound or puppy mill that has no or limited interaction with people and “domesticate” it. I cannot (and neither can you) go find a wild wolf and make it a pet. That’s because one’s a wolf and one’s a dog.

    Another thing, you say dogs aren’t domesticated because they shouldn’t need training. Are you saying that as a child you weren’t taught how to behave? Did you just come out of the womb and know how to interact with people? Absolutely not.

    Again I like what you’re doing, but your ideas are just that – an idea. Research counts for a lot.

  4. Your statistics should be proof enough that dogs are not domesticated.

  5. Oh wow, I didn’t even read thespiritdog’s newest posts until after I posted. So dogs aren’t domesticated animals huh? What planet do you live on????????

    Here’s some stats sir:

    There were 1,382,012 violent crimes in the United States in 2008. There were 16,272 murders and 89,000 rapes in the US as well. I can only assume by your rationale that these HUMAN BEINGS aren’t domesticated because they are violent “creatures.”

    So Alan, “Do you have a rational explanation for the millions of people raped and assaulted by PEOPLE every year and the individuals killed by PEOPLE every year ?”

    I’m definitely gonna take the ideas and RESEARCH of the “learned” people, aka the ones with the PHD’s that you mentioned instead of the BS you are feeding everyone.

  6. ***THE FOLLOWING IS A WARNING LIST*** if you take any of advice from thespiritdog you a freaking moron. With the exception of #5, #8, and maybe #6, this person has absolutely no idea what they are talking about. Wolves and dogs are the same????? You have some credibility issues……..

    Why can’t use you treats or clicker training?
    Why can’t you use negative reinforcement in your training?
    Why shouldn’t exercise be a vital part of your dog’s training?
    WHY SHOULD YOU NOT HAVE BASIC OBEDIENCE AS THE FIRST PART OF YOUR TRAINING????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?????? Maybe a trainer is only qualified if your dog sniffs out bombs on the first day….
    If you own a mastiff, do you want a trainer that only works with golden retrievers and spaniels – NO!
    If one way works to teach a dog something, why confuse it with 2-3 ways????
    Ummmm…wolves and dogs are different. I still have never met anyone that owns wolves as pets….you’ve got to be kidding me.

    Apparently thespiritdog got burnt by bad trainer because they didn’t do their homework. However, thespiritdog CLEARLY is not a trainer and has no idea what they are talking about. IDIOT!!!!

  7. Hello Dog Training Dave,

    If dogs are truly domesticated animals, they shouldn’t need obedience training to know how to act properly.

    You have to start thinking for yourself when it comes to animal behaviors and stop adhering to behavior principles that you have read somewhere. Regardless of whether or not that information was presented by learned individuals, you know PhD types. If dogs are truly a domesticated species such as they claim ( the learned) individuals and you subscribe to. Do you have a rational explanation for the millions of people bitten by dogs every year and the individuals killed by dogs every year ?

    Dog Bites : http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5226a1.htm
    Fatal Dog Attacks : http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00047723.htm

    * About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year.
    * Almost one in five of those who are bitten :a total of 885,000: require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries.
    * In 2006, more than 31,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.

    Doesn’t sound like a domesticated animal to me, and it’s absurd to think they are.

    Alan Papszycki

    Founder, President, Doggie Behavior Guru.
    Spirit Animal Sanctuary Inc.

  8. Spirit dog is not entirely accurate with his dog trainer “warnings”. First off, it is sometimes necessary (NOT ALWAYS) to use food or other motivators as a form of positive reinforcement. This is to establish a baseline of reward for the appropriate behavior. Used properly and intermittently and in conjuction with the right tone of voice by the handler, the food rewards are quickly phased out.

    Secondly, obedience training is paramount in a dogs welfare and state of being. Many dogs (especially the working breeds) greatly enjoy this form of interaction. Obedience training is often used as a foundation for eliminating behavioral problems. For example (you can’t entirely eliminate a negative behavior like your dog chasing cars, without him understanding obedience commands such as stay, heal, or come.

    Lastly dogs and wolves are different.
    FIRST & FOREMOST dogs are domesticated!

  9. Is there an article on you site that tells you what should look for in a trainer or behavior consultant? A lot of trainers(not all) I’ve talked to do use food(or toys, etc) as a motivator for training. What would you suggest they do as opposed to not do?

  10. Hello Linda,

    Well it’s not the best of circumstances in which to adopt a dog, but I’m sure there are plenty of people in your exact situation that with a little creativity make it work.

    If your financial resources are not of a major concern, this is easily doable.

    Just off the top of my head the two different routes you could go are,
    1- If no one is home in your rural house during the week, if available find a good boarding facility that also does doggy day care. The significance of this is, you want the new guy to have some sort of social interaction during the week.

    and 2- If taking him to your corporate apartment occasionally during the week is not an option, how about once in a while finding a dog boarding / day care place near your apartment. This way you have the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with him a night, if you choose to do so.

    What will make this work or not is dependent on the amount of time you have to devote to him on weekends, and the amount of social interaction he will get at a boarding place.

    If you have more questions, don’t hesitate.

  11. I am seeking to adopt a 6-year old weimeraner. He is very intelligent with no training. I travel weekly between a corporate apartment and my rural home but he needs a good place to stay. Is this too much to expect him to become a good pet as long as I have to travel like this? Or should I pass on rescuing him from his current home since I have to be so mobile? I would seek a dog trainer so we could become a good team together with my husband.

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