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What to look for when choosing a pet professional

When looking for a pet professional we want to make sure that our pets are in the best hands. So there is a lot of controversary about the right professional to pick whether that is dog walkers, trainers, boarders, sitters etc.

  1. Qualifications

Many people say Qualifications are just 'pieces of paper'. This may be the case but it shows they have been properly qualified, vetted, monitored and experienced against 3rd party/individual assessors. It also means they are science based or have been through correct learning that is means it has been backed by EVIDENCE not by personal viewpoints or subjective evidence. For dog trainers/behaviourists this is via a FORCE-FREE independently assessed organisation. There's a lot of reasons why force free is the main reason for training dogs mainly due to the fact it doesn't harm or frighten the dog, doesn't risk physical damage or shutdown.

2. Insured, First Aid Trained and DBS checked (licenced for boarders)

Insurance is a MUST for any pet professional. If anything goes wrong you know with piece of mind they are covered. However insurance isn't the only thing to look for! First aid training means your dog is in safe hands should the worst occur and they have the details of your vet should required. DBS checked is for piece of mind for those entering your home. Boarders and daycare MUST be registered with your local council! If you can't they can be fined and shut down so make sure you check!

3. Wording on website/pages

Do they state the words 'dominance' 'pack leader' 'alpha' 'balance' 'balanced' on their website or mention it at all? (Or similar keyterms like 'boss' 'dominant' etc.)

These are RED MAJOR flags. These individuals are not properly qualfied and will resort to punishment based training methods which will in long term make situations worse! Would you hit/slap your child for being scared of something? No? They don't punish your dog for fear! Punishment=escalated fear behaviour.

4. Regular CPD hours

Do they have regular cpd hours on show? Are they constantly kept updated by science with their learning or are they still looking into older evidence.

5. Paperwork

Do they have much paperwork involved? Do they need to know your vet details? Do they ask for history beforehand with training or do they just jump straight in?

6. Quick fix

Do they expect or brag about quick fixes? All good things take time! Trainers/behaviourists that brag or mention they can utilise quick fixes! This in other terms means - 'your dog will be punished into submission'

Remember ask questions! More questions the better! Real professionals will not back down from questions! I actively encourage it!

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