Dogs are very smart animals. To help them achieve their maximum potential, you can train and teach them basic skills and plenty of useful knowledge even beyond that. However, doing elementary obedience training can seem like a daunting task for pet owners, even more so than it would be to a dog at his very first class. Dogs learn at different paces, and you need lots of patience to help yours succeed if he isn’t the fastest learner. Plus, you need to be at least somewhat knowledgeable about training to teach your dog effectively. If you really want to train your dog, you might choose to rely on professional help. There are various dog training schools offering different services depending on what your dog needs. But before you finally decide to take your dog to classes, you have to conduct some research to learn what makes a good facility.
Does Your Dog Need to Go?
Pet owners with dogs that are properly schooled can enjoy various benefits. Although it may cost you a bit of money to take your dog to a training school, just think of the things it can give him (and you). If you take your pet for formal training, he can learn so many things, including basic obedience skills like sitting and staying, and he can also learn how to be respectful of people and remain calm. Apart from commands and other techniques, a professional trainer can help shape a dog’s overall behaviour. There are some pet owners who choose to train their dogs using their own methods. For instance, there are books, videos, and other online resources that you can use. However, if you want to go beyond just the basic skills, it’s better to have a professional trainer handle your pet because this person will be familiar with a number of different techniques to use if your dog doesn’t catch on right away.
The saying that old dogs can’t learn new tricks does have some truth; puppies are much more adaptable and malleable when it comes to learning, and they haven’t had time to develop bad habits that need to be broken. When you decide to take your dog to a training school, it’s important that your dog starts while he’s still young, if it’s at all possible. Puppies ages 8 to 12 weeks old are easier to train, and they make the best students. Even if your dog is not annoying you with his bad habits yet, you should sign up for a training school before he gets any older. That way, your dog can be easily trained. However, if he’s getting up there in age, it’s still possible to train him, and the techniques are still similar. He’ll just have to unlearn bad behaviours first, which increases the amount of time he’ll spend in classes.
Finding a Dog Trainer
In choosing a trainer for your dog, it’s essential that you find someone who’s reliable and effective. Go for a trainer who can handle even the most sensitive behaviour problems. Anyone can say that he is a trainer, but if you want to get the best results, you should hire a trainer who’s certified. To start off, you should conduct some research first. Get to know more about the different training schools and what they offer. There are known programs like Pat Miller’s or the Karen Pryor Academy. But if you’re looking for a way to reduce costs, there are various training schools offering affordable training programs for dogs, and they still have reputable people working there.
Another way of choosing the best dog trainer is to find one with independent qualifications. People aren’t required to have licenses in order to work as dog trainers, but they can choose to earn credentials from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Someone who has this is serious about training pets, and it speaks highly to his dedication and skills.
Most trainers use the positive-reinforcement method and use treats and rewards in order to shape the best behaviours in dogs. If you notice that the dog trainer you’re looking into hurts or frighten dogs, you should immediately find another one.
How to Assess a Training Class
To get value for money in dog training, you need to know how to distinguish between good and bad training. A training class that has about five students per trainer is a good thing. You don’t want to enroll in a class with lots of students, as the trainer can’t give individual attention to every dog that way. Observe how the trainer conducts the lessons and the training. If you have questions, you should ask during class. This is to assess if the trainer knows how to handle people as well. Observe how demonstrations are done. Keep in mind that in order for your dog to get the most out of the training program, he should enjoy the training class too.
Some pet owners choose to take their dogs to specialized classes. This will really depend on what your dog needs. If you want your dog to have a certain skill, then you might need a specialized class. For instance, if you want to train your dog to have manners or for competitive obedience and tracking, you may have to find a separate trainer with experience developing these less-common abilities.
When looking for a dog training school, you should also factor in the cost. This is one of the most important considerations. After all, you don’t want to spend a lot if you can find a training school that can offer you quality, effective lessons at a reasonable price. Compare the rates of dog training schools for their six-week or eight-week classes.
Keep in mind that cheaper schools may not provide the best services. Group classes typically cost between $40 and $150 for a six-week-long course, and private classes can range from $30 to $100 per hour for one-on-one attention.
In the end, a dog that’s properly trained can be of great use, not just for your family but also for other people. It never hurts to teach your pup the basics, even if he won’t be moving on to things like service-dog training, because good behaviour will make your lives easier and happier.