Consider All Dog Training Options

It’s not so much the kind of obedience training you do with your dog, but actually doing any training. Most of the dogs in your neighborhood or the dogs owned by your family and friends are probably not trained well, if at all. Isn’t that alone a reason to train your dog better?

There are four basic options for training your dog: enrolling in a class, sending the dog away to be trained, training on your own or working individually with a trainer.

The first option is to take a class with your dog. A vet might recommend a professional trainer near you. I take my mutt to an obedience class with about ten other people and dogs. I think it is a lot of fun and so does he. These classes run many times a year and last for about seven weeks. In this setting, a trainer works with the group on things like sit, stay and walking on a lose leash. The setting is a good way for dogs to get used to listening to their humans when there are a lot of distractions. Most instructors offer four or five levels of obedience, starting with puppy preschool through preparation for the show ring.

For a second option, you can take your dog to a training facility either during the day (like day camp) or for a few weeks or months at a time. Someone else will then begin training your dog. I never recommend this option but someone who is often traveling or too busy or simply unwilling to learn to train a dog might see no other away. The reasons I think this is a terrible idea is because a dog learns to respect and respond to whoever trains them because the dog will accept that person as a leader. For this reason, I will always train my own dogs. Some people expect their dogs to come back from places like these totally trained, and that just isn’t possible. Training a dog takes years of commitment and never ends.