Originally Posted by luckypenny
I sent you a lengthier message but I wanted to post here as well.
For those looking on how to choose a trainer: http://www.apdt.com/petowners/choose/default.aspx
Please take the time to read all the important information contained in the links.
A wonderful Montreal trainer/behaviorist I can personally vouch for:
Emily Cooper 514 576 2667
Wishing you and Belle much luck and many years of wonderful companionship
Here is the Canadian version of the link above: http://www.cappdt.ca/public/jpage/1/p/Home/content.do
Unfortunately dog training is an unregulated business. There is no authority to say what credentials a person must have before hanging out a shingle. Heck, you can even get dog training "certificates" from internet courses. Be careful who you go to.
It is disappointing that your Vet could not help. Recommendations from friends are always a good idea but your friends may not know what to look for either. I myself have found people I know paying good money to a trainer who uses clickers and discovered the trainer had no idea how to use them correctly.
Some suggestions that might help: Use a facility that does competitive obedience whether that's your goal or not. These people will at least, hopefully, have advanced their own dog through to at least a CD and that reveals training results.
Another trick, applies to anything you buy, know something about it yourself. My favourite for dogs is to ask what the trainer likes for dog training theory. I ask them about operant conditioning. Obviously, for their answer to have meaning for me, I must know something about it myself. It doesn't matter if they don't espouse it, (though I prefer they do) what matters is they have studied theory and chosen one that they like. Run like mad if anyone says they use alpha and dominance techniques, outdated theories which reveal a lack of updating on the trainer's part or worse.