1. Gotta Have Dogs: The trainer should have his own dogs. If the trainer goes on and on about his wonderful dogs and sings their praises, then he is probably training dogs because he respects them.
2. Meets Your Needs: If you are just wanting your pup to learn basic commands, you want your trainer to understand that you do not want training of the obedience-trial kind.
3. Take a Look: The trainer should welcome you to watch him in action. If he does not take kindly to your request, then find someone else.
4. You Should Be Included: The trainer you are considering should include teaching you how to train your dog and encourages you to be present at all class sessions since your dog needs to obey your commands too.
5. It All Has to Be Positive: Positive reinforcement is the only method that is proper for training a dog. No negative treatment should be tolerated by any trainer. Using equipment, shock collars for example, is a big no-no. No trainer should ever lay a hand on a dog for punishment purposes.
6. Do Not Commit: You should be allowed to sign up for one class to see how things go with the trainer and your pup. If he insists that you must sign up for a certain number of classes, then it is a no-go with this one.
7. Just in Case: If your dog has a specific problem, like fighting with other canines or snapping at humans, then a good trainer will recommend that your veterinarian checks your dog first to rule out any medical issues first.