1. How do you search for and then choose a trainer?
Word of mouth and results. The proof is in the pudding. If people are pleased with the person and I see a successful trainer with a good success with their own dogs, then I'll check it out.
I also want someone who will work with me. Can they get the point across to me? can they effectively show me what I need to be doing? Can they handle my dogs in a fair manner?
2. The dog world is small and... uh... talkative. After choosing a trainer how do you handle those people in your life who don't believe in that trainer/trainers methods and criticize them to you?
Ignore them.... Good trainers don't criticize. Good trainers teach. So if you're out criticizing, then I'm going to be suspect of your skills. I mean seriously, if you feel your results are better then lets talk results. Tell me why YOURS are good, explain why you feel that they are best or could be superior to what I'm doing. I'd listen to that. Criticizing? forget it - especially if the trainer is doing well by me and my dog.
3. Do you believe that a person's personal life should influence your choice of a trainer? (i.e do you believe a person's choice to be a party animal outside of work would affect your choice?)
It depends... IMO personal life is personal as long as it doesn't interfere with professional. If they treat me with respect and are a competent trainer, that's what I'm looking for. However if I knew they were engaged in illegal or highly questionable behavior, then I'd steer clear.
4. When you have a break through moment with your dog, do you feel that moment makes your connection stronger with that dog and makes the next step in training easier?
Yes! Break through moments mean that we're clicking, we're communicating, we both understand. I think that these are incredibly positive and can only help build on the next step!
5. Do you stick with just one trainer, or do you go to multiple sources for help?
I like the idea of one main source with multiple branches. One main source is going to know you and your dogs the best and provide consistency . But then I think you can also learn different nuggets from different people - they might explain something differently or their area of expertise might be a bit different.