Christine Scott of Great Scott Dog Training in Florida spent over 20 years in the laboratory science as a clinical microbiologist. Dog behavior modification and training became a passion that eventually led to a career change. Coming from a clinical/ science background, Christine carries the standards that she learned in that field into her animal training practice. She only uses science-based, proven dog training methods. She believes in best practice protocols, continuing education, and continued learning.
Christine is a graduate of the Animal Behavior College. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers – Skills and Knowledge Assessed, a Certified Trick Dog Instructor, and an American Kennel Club (AKC) – Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator. Christine is a Mentor Trainer for the Animal Behavior College and CATCH Canine Trainers Academy. Her dogs have titles in AKC – CGC and Advanced CGC and Trick Dogs as well as in Canine Performance Events (CPE) – Agility. She shares her house with one husband, three dogs, two cats, and a flock of chickens.
First, what is a professional dog trainer? One needs to understand that unlike a lot of other professions, there is no national agency and national standards concerning dog training. Anyone can hang up a shingle and call himself a professional. To counteract this lack of standardization, various dog organizations introduced schools and testing systems to create baseline knowledge that covers not only obedience drills but also canine husbandry, animal behavior, and problem-solving. Participants of these programs had to not only show hands-on knowledge but also pass written exams to assure competency. This is not to say that persons without that piece of graduation paper might not be competent, having gained experience through years of hands-on training.
Unlike what you see on TV where the dog trainer has the tools of a whole network behind him or her and the power of editing out undesired sections, you don’t. You will also notice that it is usually the trainer that does most of the training, which, being used to dealing with dogs, can produce instant results. While there are some interesting snippets that can be picked up by watching, don’t be surprised if you do not get the same instant result.
A professional dog trainer can help you tailor a program that is designed specifically for you and your dog. Not all people have the same learning styles, and neither do all dogs. You still have to do the work, realizing that a longstanding problem will not be eradicated within a week of training even with the help of a professional. But, a little extra money can save you years of aggravation or the guilt of giving up your dog.
There are many different methods to train a dog. Keep in mind that training should be enjoyable and never scary to your dog. Just like children, dogs learn best in a positive environment.