Dog Training: Find The Right Program

Dog obedience training is an important step in your dog’s life. In addition to teaching your dog the basic and more advanced commands, professional training also teaches you how to handle your dog properly. Most dogs learn rather quickly, but the help of a trainer will accelerate the process even further and save you quite a bit of stress, especially if this is your first time owning a dog. There are a couple of different types of training that you can choose from, including group classes and private lessons. There are pros and cons to each kind of training, and you should take your dog’s age and personality into consideration when making your decision.

Group Training

Group classes are popular with new puppy owners and you can find them at your local pet store, such as PetSmart or PetCo. These classes are usually about $150-$300 for a six to eight week class, and they teach pets how to walk on a leash and obey basic commands, like “sit,” “stay,” and “lay down.” Make sure your puppy is properly vaccinated before signing up because you will have to provide proof of his vetting before he is allowed to be around the other puppies. This is a great socialization opportunity for all puppies, so if your pup is 10 weeks to 5 months old, a group class is going to be the best, most affordable option for you. Once your puppy has mastered the basics, you can either choose to continue training on your own, or you can enroll your puppy in a more advanced class to learn more commands. 

Private Training

Private dog training lessons are going to be more expensive ($50-$100 an hour), but one major benefit is that your dog will receive all of the attention he needs. Group classes are generally geared towards younger dogs, but private lessons can be adapted for dogs of all ages. Private training lessons are ideal for dogs who have special needs, such as a missing limb, or dogs who display aggression towards other dogs. The trainer will work with your dog personally to resolve behavior problems, teach him basic and advanced commands, and possibly even a few tricks, like “high five” and “take a bow.” These lessons are perfect for those who have busy schedules because you can pick a time that works for you instead of having to work with the set group class schedule. 

Dog Owners Need Training Too

In addition to teaching your dog different behaviors and commands, one of the most important aspects of the training is to show you how to be the “Alpha” to your dog and continue his training for the rest of his life. All the training in the world won’t matter if you don’t stick to the rules and consequences when it comes to your dog’s behavior at home. If you do decide to participate in a private or group dog training program and do your part at home, your dog will turn into an obedient, pleasant dog to be around in no time.

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