IN YOUR CORNER: Do’s and Don’ts of finding a good dog trainer


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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- In light of recent allegations of animal cruelty at a Johnson City dog training company, we’re in your corner with the do’s and don’ts of finding a good dog trainer. 

An 8-month-old miniature bull terrier named Dallas reportedly died earlier this month in the care of Off Leash K9 Training.

According to the Washington County Animal Shelter – a necropsy reveals Dallas had 0% bodyfat and died from starvation.

Veterinary professionals told News Channel 11’s Justin Soto that you can start training your dog at just a few months old, but there are things you should check off your list before leaving the dog in someone else’s care.

  • Find a trainer who knows how to properly teach dogs
  • Do your research 
  • Check in to the trainer’s credentials
  • Observe a class
  • Talk to current and past clients

We’re told research is key.

“Go by personal references, make sure they have references,” Amanda Smith, vet tech at Blue Ridge Animal Hospital went on to say,”If they’re going to be training your dog in house, make sure you can see the facility, make sure they have liability insurance.”

Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter Director Tammy Davis also emphasizes credentials.

“There are no one to regulate dog training facilities so basically anyone can print up a business card and they can call themselves a dog trainer…look for someone who is certified in dog training,” Davis went on to say, “You should be able to find their credentials online, if they have a website, or a page.”

Davis said after Dallas’s death – the shelter is making changes to help people find good trainers.

“We are going to compile a list of local, certified dog trainers so we can have that available here,” Davis said.

They also recommend getting to know your trainer, checking reviews, observing a class and talking to current and past clients.

“Do your homework, and make sure that you know where and who will be training your dog,” Davis said.

Davis tells us after Dallas’s death – people have come forward saying they’ve had bad experiences with Off Leash K9 Training.

That’s why she’s also emphasizing to come forward to animal control if something happens or if you notice anything off – so they can investigate.

Off Leash K9 Training Corporate released a statement to News Channel 11 in light of Dallas’s death.

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