Fetching the Perfect Dog Trainer

By Katenna Jones. Dogwise Publishing. $9.95.

Let’s face it: We live in a fast-food, quick-answer society where we want instant choices and speedy fixes.

That’s not a viable option in dog training, however. Whether you purchase a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder or an adorable mutt from a local shelter, chances are you’re going to need helping shaping its behavior in the coming weeks, months and even years.

So who to turn to find a reputable and effective trainer in an industry that is unregulated in most states and cities? And when books, television shows, DVDs and training schools are so plentiful how do you determine which is the right one for you?

Anyone who has ever been through a training class quickly recognizes the instructor is training you rather than the dog. He/she is seeking to develop your skills in maintaining control of the new family member, but is his/her demeanor and philosophy compatible with yours?

Jones establishes a wide gamut of options for the reader, encouraging you to always be proactive and speak up with questions whether in a private or group setting. She cites the benefits and cautions of both and what to expect from training with sections on location, cost, length of commitment and where to find reputable professionals,

Upon finding a trainer, the author poses an empowering list of interview questions to ask before signing up for classes.

“While there are certainly absolutely wrong ways to train your dog,” says Jones, “such as causing pain or fear or through intimidation, there is no absolutely ‘right’ way to train, and it is important to keep that in mind.”

A strong proponent of positive re-enforcement, Jones presents a thorough list of recommended reading and viewing choices, with sections on puppies, all dogs and specific behavior problems.

Finding the right trainer can be akin to life insurance for your dog. This guidebook provides you the framework and foundation for establishing a special relationship and eventual pathway for a respectful relationship with your new family member.