Finding a good dog trainer
One of the most important things you can do for your dog (and your sanity) is to help your new best friend become a well-mannered one. A good dog trainer ccan go a long way towards helping you acheive this goal. When looking for a good dog trainer you should find one that is knowledgeable, attentive, firm and assertive but also caring. One of the best ways you find a good dog trainer is to simply ask friends with good dogs and find out who they work with.
Finding a dog trainer who works WITH you is also very important because while you will need to also be part of the training process. And you should avoid dog trainers who say other ways, because after all you want your dog to listen to you. If you don't know anyone who has worked with a dog trainer, or you wish to find one on your one thing you should be sure to do is to call and interview any possible trainer. You should also set up a time to observe a few different trainers before deciding who to hire. Trainers have different training styles, and dogs have different learning styles observing a few training sessions beforehand can help you find a match for your dog's personality. It's also important to remember that because all dogs are different, as a result no trainer can guarentee results. A good trainer will be willing to alter their methods to work with you to find what works with your dog and your situation.
A good rule to follow is to avoid any trainer who uses physical force that could harm your dog, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior advocates for reward based training which allows your dog to work for things, such as treats, they can earn with good behavior. Research has found that does do not need to be physically punished to be trained, and in fact such treatment often causes your dog to "shut down" out of fear, which slows learning.
Another thing you should also take note of when observing the class are the people. Are the people having fun, is it a group you would enjoy working with. Your happiness and your dog's happiness will go a long way towards making sure training is productive. If you have any questions about a training technique, you should feel comfortable asking the trainer and they should be able to answer why a specific method was used. Dog training should be a fun learning expierence for all.