During my years in dog training, I met with many people and their expectations about dog training. Here are some mistakes and myths about dog training:
Choose the cheapest option – first and the most common mistake. People try to find the most affordable option, which is understandable, but you should avoid very cheap trainers. If someone charges a "happy meal" fee for a private 1:2:1 dog training session, that person generally doesn't have insurance/enough knowledge/qualification. Good trainer/training company has insurance; the trainers have qualifications and deep knowledge about dogs. If the trainers have more qualifications, the price is higher than the "unqualified hobby trainers".
Don't care about qualifications – This connected with the first point, clients would like cheaper options and don't care about does the trainer has any qualification for dog training. Dog training is not only taught Jack to sit; it's more than that. You or your neighbour can teach Jack to sit, but real professionals beside show you the commands and methods can point on issues and give advice that they learnt in Canine Psychology and explain to you how dogs’ brains work or Canine Body Language to help you understand your dog better, or only simple mistakes that many dog owners make and they didn't know that is wrong. For example, many dog walkers offer dog training during a walking time, and those people don't have sufficient knowledge for proper dog training. Especially in dog rehabilitation is important to choose someone with a higher qualification specified about behavioural issues because unqualified trainers could worsen the situation.
Experience of the breed - Do you have experience with the "x" breed? – this is the question that all dog trainers hate to hear. Yes, every dog has breed specific characters, BUT every dog is unique and has its personality and successful training depending on so many things besides the knowledge of the breed. A good dog trainer can teach any breed without any previous breed experience because it focuses more on the dog's character besides the breed's. The training needs to be tailored for the dog, we sometimes can’t use same model just because it’s the same breed. I trained hundreds of dogs, and I had so much training with Labradors, for example. All of them were different because of their personality, and some of them learnt quickly and responded well to the training; others needed more time for the same thing. Also, their owners and lifestyle were different as well. I never had the same training.
Years of experience – This is important, yes, but in my opinion, the number of trained dogs is more important than years. You can find it might be a trainer with 5 years of experience but had 24 dogs/year to teach, and you can find a trainer with 1 year of experience but had almost 100 dogs/year.
The trainer will do all the job – lots of clients think dog training is like that: the trainer is coming and teaching everything to “Jack”, and owners don't need to do anything. Unfortunately, this is not going to happen. Dogs need daily training exercise, rules and the owner need to be consistent and patient. Between the private sessions with the trainer, the owner needs to practice with his dog to get any result. Almost always, the issue of the failed training is because the owner created alibis why he couldn't practice with the dog between the sessions or wasn't consistent and patient during the practising. You need to continue to do what you learnt during the training once you finished with the trainer. Dog training is life-long training and never end, but it will be easier because your life will have new rules, which will be a part of your life.
Impatience – Owners wanted the well-trained dog after a few (sometimes after 1) sessions. Especially first-time owners don't understand why trainers give lots of information to them instead of teaching everything at one time for their dog. A good trainer gives you lots of advice and information and answers your questions, which are essential as a dog owner and not only show you the commands. You can't decide after only 1 session on how the trainer works or how your dog will respond to the training because every training session is different; dogs are not robots and can have bad and good days. In dog training, everything connects, and the dog needs to know first the basic command/basic manners to go for the next step. The trainer can't start, for example, leash training with a dog who doesn't know how to focus on the trainer and doesn't know anything because that dog won't cooperate with the trainer when it's distractions around him. In dog rehabilitation, patience and consistency are much more important. If your dog has, for example, a trauma, you can't expect him to be recovered within a week.
Choose a trainer always who are sympathetic, knowledgeable and qualified and enjoy the training with that person and your dog.