“Do you get results, and how do you get them?”

This should be virtually the first question you ask any dog trainer you are considering hiring for help with your dog.  Ideology should mean nothing if the trainer can’t immediately, and confidently answer yes to this simple question, and tell you what they do to get those results.  Not what they don’t, or won’t do.

Does certification matter?

The internet is full of advise on how to find a dog trainer.   Much of it is ridiculous.   Very often a dog owner is advised to find out if a trainer is certified.  How meaningful is this?  Well, if you are going to ask this question, you should ask the trainer, “certified by whom” and follow that up by asking exactly what that certification entails.  Was it a multiple choice test based on only an ideological percentage of learning and training theory?  If the certification is offered by a school, was this a school that involved a consistent hands-on curriculum, and real classroom time, or is it obtained by completing a correspondence course and a mentorship with another trainer with limited professional experience?