Taking your puppy to puppy training classes could be the best decision you ever for your dog but make sure you choose the right kind of school.
Within this article, we will explore some of the things you need to look out for and also questions that you may need to ask to ensure that both you and your pooch are getting the very best for your time and money.
Puppy training classes are becoming more and more popular and it is because of this that you need to be aware that some classes and trainers are going to be better than others.
You really need to ensure that you take the time to investigate before committing to any training classes to be satisfied that it is going to benefit you both.
Without a doubt, the upside of taking your puppy to a good training class with a good trainer is that you and your dog will be getting the best chance to make breakthroughs in terms of trust and bond.
You will be making new friends too, both you and your dog and it’s important to remember that socialization is so important for a young dog that the act of them meeting other dogs is a huge factor in their overall mental development.
A training school that is run properly will have a professional approach to training and you can be sure that you can learn a lot from the trainer in terms of the psychology of your dog and also the puppy stages they will be going through.
This is very much the laying of the foundation of your dog’s training and it will shape the rest of their life.
The factors that your dog will pick up on are that the training classes are fun, they meet other dogs and they get rewards.
In a dog’s world that is an amazing experience and one, they will really look forward too and enjoy.
If you remember in the other articles about reward-based training and making your dog happy through play, then all of these things are encapsulated within the world of dog training.
However, There Is Also a Flip Side to This Coin.
As we have already alluded to, puppy training classes are very popular and because of this rise in new ones starting up in the UK and US especially, some are not so good.
A poor dog training school with poorly educated trainers can cause irreparable damage in some cases, to your dog.
Just because someone says they are an expert trainer or they are professional does not mean that they are any good when it comes to training your dog.
This is just some of the rubbish that I have been told to me over the years and this happened around 3 months ago:
I overheard a woman the other day saying that the best way to stop a dog barking was by spraying him in the face with water. She added that her friend who is an “expert dog trainer” told her to do it!
So, you see…..not all “EXPERTS” are “EXPERTS”
As a rule of thumb, recommendations from people you know well and trust are always the very best route to go down first of all.
Make sure that when you go to a training class YOU feel comfortable with the trainer and if something doesn’t feel right, or the location isn’t right or indeed anything that makes you feel that something is “off”, then don’t commit to it and walk away.
It’s a buyers market out there folks so try a different school!
What Is the First Thing You Should Train Your Puppy?
You want to get it right for yourself and your puppy so make sure you ask questions of the trainer and make sure you are happy with the answers they give you.
Any kind of resistance here and again, walk away.
A really good and professional trainer will LOVE dogs and they won’t be doing this as a “side-line”
A good and professional trainer will be taking this seriously and because of that, you will see that in the way they conduct themselves and their business.
A good trainer will also be asking you questions along the lines of what you want to get out f the training and also what you want your dog to achieve.
This is critical as it screams “they are interested” and you want and need, your training team to be interested in what YOU want.
It’s the basis of building a foundation for your puppy. A good solid training regime, with good people, in a positive and fun environment, with you the owner they adore by their side and your doggy will surely succeed!
By looking for this kind of training school you are giving your dog the absolute best chance to succeed, and you should always want that.
Some Dog Trainers Can Be Slightly Odd. This Is Normal.
You will get to know what I mean by this if you attend several different classes as I have over the years.
Some are quite normal and I find the normal ones get the best results.
I won’t dwell on this too much other than to say that some trainers think they are in the army and the dogs are all soldiers!
As I say, you may well experience this….you have been warned!
Puppy Parties..What Are They?
Another thing that has been popping up of late is Puppy Parties.
Usually, they are hosted by trained veterinary practices as a way of introducing you as an owner to better standards of care for your puppy and a chance for your puppy to meet other puppies and owners too.
They are usually by invite only and they are rigidly checked to make sure all the dogs attending are up to date in terms of meds, vaccines, and inoculations.
If they are run correctly they are hugely beneficial to you as you will learn from Vets exactly how to look after your dog correctly and to learn all the do’s and don’t of caring for your dog.
However, if they are not run like this in a correct veterinary environment, I would urge you not to bother.
You can’t be sure that all the other dogs have had their inoculations and therefore it is an extremely high and unnecessary risk to your dog.
When Should a Puppy Start Training Classes?
After they have had all of their inoculations and roughly that is around 7 to 8 weeks of age.
Puppy Interaction At Training Schools
Off the lead interaction between puppies can be a great thing if it is done properly and can be really beneficial to your dog, however, they do need to be monitored correctly and a good trainer will be able to instantly see the body language between dogs meeting for the first time.
This is something that if done correctly can be really great for your dog’s confidence, however, if it is not done right it can create really serious problems.
What Do You Need for Puppy Training Classes?
A good trainer will be able to relay the body language to you and give you an insight into what the dogs are thinking when they meet for the first time so that you can learn how to talk dog too.
A good trainer will be getting you involved too as this is vital for bond building and also to ensure that your puppy doesn’t become too over excited as this can cause bullying bin dogs and you don’t want your dog to be bullied or become one.
Play between dogs should always be encouraged and as long as it is healthy and fun for them it is fine.
You want to promote healthy memories for your dog and also you want it to be sociable too.
These are the kinds of trainers you want to be working with, ones that support you as well as your puppy.
What Is the Best Book for Training a Puppy?
I always think that this book is a superb read and it goes back to getting to know your puppy and as well as getting the right training a handy guide is always useful to have at hand too.