There are so many different dog training schools out there that it becomes very difficult to know which ones are the best. The last thing you wish to happen is for you & your dog to encounter a bad experience. I would recommend compiling a list of the dog training schools within your local area & then discovering the name of the dog trainer/handler. You will need to speak to whoever is running the classes to ascertain whether they are the kind of training class you are looking for.
Throughout the many dog training schools there are also many different types of training class, obedience, puppy, agility, aggressive dogs & more. You also need to know if the dog training is with a clicker or similar device, it’s no good attending one of the clicker based dog training schools if you do not wish to train your dog with a clicker. You should ask the dog trainer/handler how long they have been in business & what their personal experience of dogs is. Do your homework first & find out how much they should be charging ring around a few of the dog training schools, too cheap & alarm bells start to ring too expensive & they are possibly con artists after a fast buck.
The next stage is to actually attend one of the classes but not with your dog, just on your own. If everything is above board the dog trainer/handler will not have any problems with you wishing to do this, you only want to observe nothing more. Look for the way the dogs are treated by the trainer/handler ensure a gentle approach is present & that the dogs like him/her, always a sign if the dogs pull or shy away that they are not too keen on the person. If just one dog does it then possibly that one dog is just a bit timid of people, but if you find most of them are doing it then there is obviously a problem.
Also how are the owners treated? Is it with respect? This is an important factor as the dog training schools do vary & you are going to need to be able to relate to the trainer/handler. The scary fact is that just about anyone can, & do, call themselves a dog trainer or a dog handler & then eventually open dog training schools. You do not have to gain any formal qualifications.
Be watchful of dog trainers that offer you guarantees, all dogs are different & respond to training in varying ways. The dog trainer should not be able to guarantee anyone of how many classes will be required initially before the training classes have even started. Once the dog’s attended a few classes & the trainer can observe the progress then maybe they can start assessing & then give you an approximate answer to how many classes will be required.
Dog training schools should be clean, friendly places. The dog trainer/handler should also appear clean & friendly & always approachable. Whilst you are attending the school in an ‘observing only’ capacity ensure you ask some relevant questions. Such as ‘how long have you been training/handling dogs?’ or ‘my dog’s is slightly aggressive should he attend this sort of school?’ You need to take note of the way the questions are answered; the trainer/handler should be able to answer them immediately with no hesitation or awkwardness.