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PetsAnimals and Natural DisastersIn a disaster, both domestic and wild animals may have been forced from their natural habitats, leaving them disoriented and possibly aggressive. Be smart and be safe, and follow these tips.Choosing and Using a Pet Crate for TravelCrates and carriers are necessities for pet travel and are required when for pets traveling by air. Keep your pet safe and sound by following these tips for purchasing and using a pet crate.Create a Pet Emergency KitBe ready for an emergency by assembling your pet's must-haves now.Create a Pet Travel KitBe ready to hit the road with your pet by assembling these pet travel items.Farm Animals and Natural DisastersFarm animals often suffer injury during a disaster but are just as likely to receive fresh injury after the storm, if not handled properly. Here are some of the things that can be done in the immediate aftermath of the storm or flood.If You Find a Lost PetIf you've found a lost pet, here's what to do.Managing Your Pet's Separation AnxietyDogs and cats are creatures of habit; they love schedules, routines and their owners. When routines change — school starts, you're away on vacation — your pet may have a tough time handling the situation.Adopting a PetThere are many different types of pets for many different people. Below is a "starter" list to help you select a pet for you and your family.Choosing a Kennel or Pet Daycare FacilityWhether it's for a social hour at doggy daycare or an extended kennel stay while you're away, you want to know your Fluffy or Fido is safe and happy when boarded.Choosing a Pet GroomerGrooming services can include a hair cut, trimming or shaving, combing, brushing, bathing, clipping nails, ear cleaning and teeth cleaning.Protect Your PetSafety first when it comes to your pets. They need you to look out for them!Choosing a Pet TrainerWhether it's puppy kindergarten or show dog or cat training, a great trainer can make a world of difference. But not every trainer can be a "dog whisperer" either!Choosing a VetThe best time to choose a vet is before you actually need one. Even better, meet with a vet before getting a new pet – they can recommend certain animals or even breeds that might best match your lifestyle.Traveling by Air with PetsMore than 2 million pets and animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation. Make it a happy trip for your pet by following these tips.Finding Pet-Friendly HotelsChoosing a hotel can be a challenging task, but it can be even more difficult if you're bringing your pet along.Help My Pet's MissingIf your pet disappears, here's what to do.Traveling by Car with PetsRoad trip! It's great to bring the whole family on a trip, even your pets. To make your next road trip a breeze, read through these top tips from pet experts, vets and pet owners. Happy Trails!Pets and Disaster PreparednessBecause they are a part of the family, too, follow these tips to prepare your pets for a disaster and know what to do should a pet go missing.
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Choosing a Pet Trainer

Whether it's puppy kindergarten or show dog or cat training, a great trainer can make a world of difference. But not every trainer can be a "dog whisperer" either!

    Here are tips from pet owners and trainers themselves on choosing a trainer:

    Do Your Research

    WHN Tip: Start a folder or keep a notebook to track your research.

    Evaluate your pet's training needs and your options.

    What hours/days are you able to drop off/join your pet for training?

    What can you afford to spend?

    Where can you get recommendations and referrals?

    WHN Expert Tip: Sit, Spot, Sit!
    "Ask owners of well-mannered dogs where they received their training." Martin Deeley and Karen Palmer, International Association of Canine Professionals

    • Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers
    • Breeders, animal clubs, or local animal shelter
    • Your veterinarian--Ask your vet if your pet should be a certain age or size before beginning training.
    • Local and online directories

    Find the Right Trainer and Training Type

    Training Specialties: Obedience, agility, protection, tracking, hunting, herding, search and rescue, therapy, hunting, herding, fly ball, etc.

    Training Sessions: individual (one-on-one), group classes, obedience schools (no pet owner required)

    Ask the Right Questions

    Where is the practice located? (Is the location convenient for you?)

    What is the training schedule? (Will the sessions work for your schedule?)

    Is the trainer or obedience school accepting new clients?

    Is the trainer familiar with my breed of animal?

    What types of training is available?

    How soon are those classes available?

    How many classes are in a series?

    How many weeks/months is the series?

    What is the cost?

    WHN Expert Tip: Costs can range anywhere from $30-$75 an hour, depending on where you live. Humane Society of the U.S.

    Does the organization or trainer hold "open houses"?

    Do I need to bring proof of vaccination or other important records with me?

    How involved will I be in the training?

    Visit the Trainers

    Make appointment to meet with trainers or visit some classes so you can evaluate the facility and the instructor.

    If you bring your pet along on the visits, ask what documents you need to bring with you, such as adoption papers, medical and vaccination history, registration papers (if you have them),

    WHN Expert Tip: "Mention any medical or behavioral problems (i.e. thyroid problems, food allergies, aggression, separation anxiety, etc.)." Debbie McKnight, PetSmart Area Trainer for the West Texas District.

    Inspect the facility:

    • Does it feel safe and inviting?
    • Are the rooms clean and in good shape?
    • Are there any unpleasant odors?
    • Are toys and equipment sanitized daily?

    Interview the trainer:

    The Association of Pet Dog Trainers recommends choosing a trainer who:

    Provides a clear explanation of each lesson.
    Demonstrates the behavior(s) that students will be teaching to their dogs.
    Provides clear instructions and written handouts on how to teach the behavior(s).
    Gives students ample time in class to begin practicing the day's lesson.
    Assists students individually with proper implementation of techniques.

    (Read APDT's How to Choose a Dog Trainer)

    • What type of education programs did you attend?
    • Are you a member of any training organizations such as the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors or the Association of Pet Dog Trainers?
    • How many years of experience do you have?
    • Are you familiar with my type of animal?
    • Do you have liability and other necessary insurance?
    • What kind of animals do you own?
    • Do you have a list of references of past clients that I can contact?

    Evaluate the teaching practices

    WHN Expert Tip: "Ask for details regarding their method and teaching styles. If they won't tell you or use vague terms, consider going somewhere else." Debbie McKnight, PetSmart Area Trainer for the West Texas District

    • What training methods do you use?
    • Do you offer private sessions as well as group sessions?
    • Do you have "puppy" training classes?
    • Are there different levels of training (beginner, intermediate, advanced)?
    • How many animals are in each session? How many sessions are there?
    • Am I required to participate in the training?
    • Are lesson handouts available?
    • What is the range of services that you provide?
    • What do you do if a pet is sick or there is an emergency?
    • What are your safety practices?

    WHN Expert Tip: Not all dogs and owners can be trained to the same performance standard in the same length of time. Look for trainers who offer to make time for students who need extra attention." Martin Deeley and Karen Palmer, International Association of Canine Professionals

    Ask about cost and payment

    • Do you have a breakdown list of services and fees?
    • Am I responsible for purchasing any training equipment?
    • How do I pay you?
    • Do you offer payment plans?
    • Do you offer discounts for senior citizens or multi-pet households?

    Share your goals

    WHN Expert Tip: "If you have a specific problem with your dog, ask trainers how much experience they have had with the problem." Martin Deeley and Karen Palmer, International Association of Canine Professionals

    WHN Expert Tip: "Pet owners should share the goals they hope to accomplish in training. The training should fit the pet owners' goals, not the trainer's goals." Debbie McKnight, PetSmart Area Trainer for the West Texas District

    Evaluate Your Training Session Experience

    Were the trainers helpful, courteous and knowledgeable?

    Did they use humane training practices and use positive reinforcement (food, attention, play, or praise)?

    Did they really listen to my questions and answer them in a way that I understand?

    Did the trainers take the time to explain their methods?

    Were the trainers respectful and considerate to me and my pet?

    Did the trainer ask me questions?

    Did the trainer seem rushed or attentive and willing to spend time with me and my pet?

    Did the other pets and owners seem to be enjoying themselves?

    Would I prefer this trainer to be the primary trainer for all my pets or should I select different trainers for each pet?

    WHN Tip: Trust your own reactions when deciding whether this trainer is the right one for your pet. If you aren't comfortable with the trainer or methods, consider finding another instructor. But remember that it can take more than one visit for you, your pet and your trainer to get to know each other and for a relationship to develop.

    Do Your Part

    Before class, assemble all necessary documents as well as your pet's leash, collar and any other necessary training equipment the trainer requests.

    If you are leaving the pet, be sure to give them emergency contact information for you and your vet.

    Once your pet starts classes, keep up with the training and do your homework.

    WHN Expert Tip: Follow the Program
    "
    Don't pick and choose which parts of the instruction to follow. If you're unable to practice it as presented, be honest with your trainer and he/she should be able to come up with an alternative." Debbie McKnight, PetSmart Area Trainer for the West Texas District

    WHN Expert Tip: Don't Expect Perfection
    "The phrase 'use it or lose it' applies to dogs as well!" says Debbie McKnight, PetSmart Area Trainer for the West Texas District. "Once trained, [remember] the dog won't be reliable 100 percent of the time. Humans aren't reliable 100 percent of the time... how can we expect the dogs to be?"

    For more advice, read the Humane Society's article, Who's Got Cred? A Guide to Behaviorists, Consultants, and Trainers.

    Other Life Pages
    PetsAdopting a Pet

    There are many different types of pets for many different people. Below is a "starter" list to help you select a pet for you and your family.

     Read More
    Animals and Natural Disasters

    In a disaster, both domestic and wild animals may have been forced from their natural habitats, leaving them disoriented and possibly aggressive. Be smart and be safe, and follow these tips.

     Read More
    Choosing a Kennel or Pet Daycare Facility

    Whether it's for a social hour at doggy daycare or an extended kennel stay while you're away, you want to know your Fluffy or Fido is safe and happy when boarded.

     Read More
    Choosing a Pet Groomer

    Grooming services can include a hair cut, trimming or shaving, combing, brushing, bathing, clipping nails, ear cleaning and teeth cleaning.

     Read More
    Choosing a Pet Trainer

    Whether it's puppy kindergarten or show dog or cat training, a great trainer can make a world of difference. But not every trainer can be a "dog whisperer" either!

     Read More
    Choosing a Vet

    The best time to choose a vet is before you actually need one. Even better, meet with a vet before getting a new pet – they can recommend certain animals or even breeds that might best match your lifestyle.

     Read More
    Choosing and Using a Pet Crate for Travel

    Crates and carriers are necessities for pet travel and are required when for pets traveling by air. Keep your pet safe and sound by following these tips for purchasing and using a pet crate.

     Read More
    Create a Pet Emergency Kit

    Be ready for an emergency by assembling your pet's must-haves now.

     Read More
    Create a Pet Travel Kit

    Be ready to hit the road with your pet by assembling these pet travel items.

     Read More
    Farm Animals and Natural Disasters

    Farm animals often suffer injury during a disaster but are just as likely to receive fresh injury after the storm, if not handled properly. Here are some of the things that can be done in the immediate aftermath of the storm or flood.

     Read More
    Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels

    Choosing a hotel can be a challenging task, but it can be even more difficult if you're bringing your pet along.

     Read More
    Help My Pet's Missing

    If your pet disappears, here's what to do.

     Read More
    If You Find a Lost Pet

    If you've found a lost pet, here's what to do.

     Read More
    Managing Your Pet's Separation Anxiety

    Dogs and cats are creatures of habit; they love schedules, routines and their owners. When routines change — school starts, you're away on vacation — your pet may have a tough time handling the situation.

     Read More
    Pets and Disaster Preparedness

    Because they are a part of the family, too, follow these tips to prepare your pets for a disaster and know what to do should a pet go missing.

     Read More
    Protect Your Pet

    Safety first when it comes to your pets. They need you to look out for them!

     Read More
    Traveling by Air with Pets

    More than 2 million pets and animals are transported by air each year in the United States, according to the Department of Transportation. Make it a happy trip for your pet by following these tips.

     Read More
    Traveling by Car with Pets

    Road trip! It's great to bring the whole family on a trip, even your pets. To make your next road trip a breeze, read through these top tips from pet experts, vets and pet owners. Happy Trails!

     Read More