Considering dog obedience school? Before enrolling your dog, check out these tips
There’s a lot to know before enrolling your new puppy in a dog obedience class. The first thing you should think about is what you want your dog to learn. There are many different types of obedience classes, and different levels of achievement your pup may fit best in. If you have a brand new puppy, it’s likely that you’ll want to start in a beginner’s class.
Once you’ve decided on dog obedience school, the best place to start searching for the perfect trainer is usually by word-of-mouth. The first human I’d recommend you contact is your dog’s veterinarian. Those guys and gals sure do know a lot! Other people you could ask are your dog’s groomer, animal hospital personnel, or even animal shelter staffers. Friends whose dogs have gone through a training program are a great asset. They will be able to tell you specifics about the classes their dog took, and should honestly choose whether or not to recommend the trainer.
Not all dog obedience schools are created equal. Be sure to take your time to tour the facility. Are the grounds appropriate for training? Make sure to look around to be sure that there are no dangers for dogs, and also be sure that there’s no easy way for a dog to get loose.
Speak with all trainers to ensure the people educating your dog have credentials such as Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). Take the time to talk with the dog trainer to ensure his or her training philosophy is in line with your own expectations. You’ll want to feel comfortable with this person taking the reins on your pup’s early education. This type of training will effect him for the rest of his life! If you don’t jive with the trainers, don’t sign up with that dog obedience school. Even if you have to travel a little further, you want to be sure you are somewhere you trust and feel comfortable.
Don’t forget to ask whether you can sit in the classes with your pup. Some programs require puppy parents to be 100% involved in the training classes. Other programs ask that the parents are not involved until the trainer allows them in. Which do you feel most comfortable with? Since your follow through is just as important as the trainer’s directions, I’d suggest enrolling in a dog obedience school that allows pet parents to at least watch the training. You’ll be required to practice these new routines at home with your dog, so you should know how to do everything correctly.
There are also many different schedules for obedience classes. Classes typically are held once a week for anywhere from seven to ten weeks (or even more). Consistency will help your dog learn best, so try your best to pick a class that will work with your and your pup’s busy schedule. If your pet has scheduling conflicts – like wanting to watch a Cesar Millan marathon on television – make sure to remind him that you are the boss, and training is a must!
Have you ever enrolled your pet in a dog obedience class? What were some of the best tips you learned? Share with us in the comments below!
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