One of the biggest and most expensive mistakes a dog owner can make is failing to understand the difference between a dog trainer and a behaviour consultant.
The job description of a dog trainer includes; addressing physical behaviours (the things you can see), teaching the dog commands to follow that help you direct and control your dog on a day to day basis, teaching the dog what they are not allowed to do and establishing rules and boundaries.
In contrast, a behaviour consultant will help with; addressing both the physical behaviours and the emotions that control them, teaching the dog to self regulate using environmental cues, teaching skills and commands that directly address the problem behaviour, teaching the dog what not to do with a focus on eliminating the cause of the problem, establishing rules and boundaries, and implementing management techniques to prevent problems from coming back.
A behaviour consultant will also incorporate nutrition, exercise and medical management into the training program to get the best solution possible.
When you are looking for a behaviour consultant you should consider the following assets:
Science background - biology, psychology, nutrition, and behaviour; because a thorough understanding of how the animal works is key
Education and experience in veterinary medicine - to aid in identifying any illness that may be contributing to the behaviour problem
Education and certification in obedience training - tells you the trainer meets a governing body's standards and that they have the background knowledge necessary to solve your problems
Practical training skills - instructors should have obedience or sport titles on their own dogs plus recommendations from other students that support their skills
Finding the right type of professional to address your concerns the first time around will save you time and money long term so do your homework.