Group classes and individual sessions each have their place. Whichever is right for you please watch at least one session before committing yourself. If the trainer won't let you observe find another trainer. At Teacher's Pet, you may observe any class beforehand!
Watch the trainer's interaction with dogs and people. How do the dogs react? How do the humans react? We try to create a fun, educational, and positive experience for all participants (instructor, owner, dog). If there are any negative feelings, it's time for a break and/or a game!
How long has this trainer been a professional? How long has the trainer been training in the area YOU need help with?
How was the trainer taught? How many and what types of seminars or continuing education does the trainer go to every year? The apprentices and assistants at Teacher's Pet learn from watching and speaking with the lead trainers. There are opportunities for continuing education, apprentices pass a test before becoming assistants, and assistants become leads when they feel comfortable with theories/methods and instructing.
Make sure you are clear on your goals. Competition obedience is not necessarily the best selection for a well mannered pet. Pet manners classes won't prepare you for competition obedience. If you want to compete, be sure your trainer has experience and success in that area. Currently, Teacher's Pet offers limited classes for competitive teams. We do offer a few dog sports, but not focused on competition.
A skilled trainer is flexible, observant, open, and patient. The trainer should be asking you what you want to accomplish, and how you want to accomplish it. Feel free to ask questions and provide feedback. Teacher's Pet trainers want to hear your thoughts!