When looking for a dog trainer in Chicago or Chicagoland, pet parents need to consider several key factors. First, pet parents should carefully consider what their dog training goals are. Are you looking to address vexing behavioral challenges such as housetraining, chewing, jumping on people, stealing food from counters, and excessive barking? Or, are you looking to address more severe issues like aggression, separation anxiety, and phobias? Perhaps you are simply looking to teach your pup to listen to basic commands (AKA cues)?
Once you have a clear idea of your goals, compare them to the experience of the Chicago dog trainers you locate. Not all dog trainers are versed in addressing behavioral challenges. Conversely, some dog trainers are more comfortable working on problem behaviors than in teaching obedience, so it’s essential to seek a trainer whose experience matches your expectations. Locating dog trainers can be as simple as merely typing “Chicago dog trainer” or “dog trainer in Chicago” into your search engine of choice. You can also speak with your veterinarian for a referral to a local trainer. Many pet parents use the resource to locate certified dog trainers supplied by Animal Behavior College.
Animal Behavior College, is the largest vocational school for dog trainers in the United States and has graduated over 17,000 certified dog trainers, including dozens and dozens of dog trainers in the Chicago area.
Finding a dog trainer in Chicago is a matter of knowing where to look. Another place to find local trainers are in the many wonderful dog parks in Chicago. Here is a guide to some of them: https://chicago.curbed.com/maps/chicago-best-dog-parks-map
Some people might wonder if there are any differences between a Chicago dog trainer and dog trainers in other parts of the country. Regardless of where you are located in the nation, you will want to work with a trainer you can relate to and one who uses positive science-based training methods. We also suggest that any trainer you work with adheres to LIMA principles. What is LIMA? According to the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), “LIMA” is an acronym for the phrase “least intrusive, minimally aversive.” LIMA describes a trainer or behavior consultant who uses the least intrusive, minimally aversive strategy out of a set of humane and effective tactics likely to succeed in achieving a training or behavior change objective.”
While working with a dog trainer that uses humane science-based principles is critical irrespective of where you live, people living in the Chicago area should also be mindful of relevant issues to your location. Does the trainer you are considering have experience training in cold weather? If they offer training classes, do they have a facility if you wish to take classes in the fall or winter? It’s not like you will be able to take outdoor dog training classes in February comfortably. Does your Chicago dog trainer understand the differences in the types of behavior challenges and solutions between those dogs and people living in the city of Chicago and those compared to the surrounding suburban areas? This might seem like an odd question, but there are differences in environments between smaller urban spaces and larger suburban ones. The dog trainer you hire should understand what is needed for the area you and your dog reside.