The winter months often can be a time where training your dog gets put on the back burner. Even new owners who just “opened up” a “Christmas puppy” feel that the cold is no time to even be thinking about dealing with training. However, most pro dog trainers are still out conducting business as usual. This often means they are both out training a group of dogs as well as trying to recruit dogs to train for the future. As a dog owner, if you do not feel comfortable having your dog trained in the cold, possibly use this time to pick a professional for either spring or summer training.
A lot of dog trainers realize that winter months can be slow. Thus, many go down South to continue training in warmer climates, and yet many stay North to brave the elements and continue training during the cold of winter.
Along with the continuation of training during this timeframe come the promotional part of dog training. There are different ways that pro trainers advertise themselves, and the winter months is the time when a great deal of effort is put into this.
One way dog trainers give their business some publicity is through advertising in publications. Both classified and display ads are used so potential dog owners can see them advertised on a regular basis. As a dog owner, if you do use one of these ads, it is important to have a good conversation with the dog trainer. Going through ads is the easiest form of finding a dog trainer, but it may not be the best way to select the person who will be training your dog. If you can meet with the trainer this will give you a better idea of what he or she is all about. It may also give you an opportunity to check out their kennel facilities.
Outdoor Sport Shows are a great way to personally meet and talk to dog trainers.
Look For A Trainer
At Sport Shows
Another way to find a trainer is attending outdoor sport shows. Many kennel owners attend these shows not only to promote their business, but to touch base with past customers. The pluses for the dog owner is that this can provide a comfort level beyond picking a trainer from a classified ad. Talking one-on-one with the trainer often will tell you if you feel this individual is right for training your dog. Trainers that you see at these events year-after-year will tell you a little about their longevity in the business, which should speak volumes. Be wary of newcomers and “back yard” trainers.
Word of mouth probably is the best way to find the right professional trainer for you. Asking friends, family members or hunting companions may be the most beneficial way to find a good trainer. Ask trainers questions about their experiences both good and bad. This will not only give you a good idea about what to expect, but may put your mind at ease when bringing your gundog there. Observing their dog is a great way to judge a trainer’s success.
As a dog owner try and use this “down time” during the winter effectively. Don’t just let your dog lay around and get fat, but keep working it on drills and techniques that will help it next hunting season. You can also try to seek out a person who you feel comfortable with handling your dog either now or in the upcoming months.
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Jason Dommeyer has a lifetime of hunting experience and 15 years experience as a dog trainer. He has turned many pets into expert hunting dogs at Cannon River Kennels (http://www.cannonriverkennels.com/) In addition to training hundreds of hunting companions, he has trained dogs for premier pheasant hunting lodges in South Dakota along with duck hunting lodges in Mississippi and Mexico. His experience also includes both hunting and guiding for upland and waterfowl game from Canada to South America. For more information on training your dog with Cannon River Kennels, call 507-663-6143 or visit (http://www.cannonriverkennels.com/) He provides dog training tips twice a month.