Professional Training Schools

Some times owners don’t’ have the knowledge or confidence to train their own dog. They may not have the time or the inclination, or they may not have the time or the inclination, or they may be physically unable to do so. Luckily, there are special training schools that you can take your dog to. Each school might use different training methods, but your dog should attend a program he enjoys, but your dog should attend a program he enjoys. If his tail is wagging and his ears are up when you return for a second visit, you’ll know that the program is a success. A good training school will carefully evaluate each dog and recommend to his owner what kind of training is suitable. Many schools offer both private lessons and resident programs where your dog stays overnight. A private lesson lasts from 45 minutes to an hour and will take place once a week for a couple of weeks. A dog attending a resident program can receive as many as three to six 20 minute training sessions a day with plenty of downtime in between. A hardworking dog will be able to learn the basics within about five days.

Choosing a Good School:
If you’ve decided to get some training help, set about finding a reputable training school in your area. Ask other dog owners or your vet for recommendations. Take some time to visit schools that interest you. You don’t have to be a super sleuth to check out a training school, but a look behind the scenes wouldn’t hurt. Have a look at the space you clean and inviting? If you think you would like to learn something in this environment, chances are your dog will, too. If you feel uncomfortable, so might your dog.

Find out what your dog will be taught and ask to observe a training session. Watch how the dogs respond to the trainer. Do they seem happy? Do they want to please the trainer? How does the trainer reach if a dog doesn’t understand him? Ask what experience the trainer has. Anyone can call himself a dog trainer, but a serious trainer will usually be a member of the national association of Professional Dog trainers. The school should also provide a contract that includes follow up lessons with the owner. Chatting with the people who will be taking care of your dog while he’s at the school will also reveal the school’s general philosophy. Make sure there are provisions for adequate medical care in case your dog has a health problem. Only if it all seems satisfactory should you sign up.

Pros and Cons:
The advantage of having a professional train your dog is that he gets trained faster. The trainer knows what works for your dog and will be able to teach you how to follow up the training. The school might also be able to offer specialized training, such as search – and – rescue work.
The downside is that when someone else trains your dog, they automatically build up a bond. Your dog may respond perfectly to the school trainers, but when you get him back home, he may not respond to you. You’ll need to spend time building up your own bond with him and learning, from the professionals, how to give consistent commands. And not everyone may be able to afford tuition at these schools, which typically costs from $100 to $1000, depending on the amount of training involved.

Obedience Classes:
If you can’t bear to send your dog away, you can enroll him in obedience classes that you attend with him. This way you can participate in your dog’s training, but still receive the help and guidance of professionals. Obedience classes also give your dog an opportunity to meet other dogs and owners, which helps to socialize him. Try to find a class that doesn’t have more than ten dogs per instructor.

The instructor will demonstrate appropriate commands, rewards and corrections for you to follow with your dog. No dog will be a model student so doesn’t be embarrassed if your dog misbehaves in class. Don’t be shy about speaking up to your dog either. It doesn’t matter if people are watching. Chances are he’ll do the same thing in public. And if you’re hesitant to correct him in class, where everyone shares the same goals, it will be even harder out in the big world.

Obedience classes usually meet once a week for six to eight weeks and last for an hour or 90 minutes. Some dogs might take two or three courses of instruction before they’re well trained.