What dog training programs are available?


What dog training programs are available?
There are three approaches to basic obedience training for dogs: group classes, private lessons, or board and train programs. A full service pet care facility usually offers all three.
The following is an overview of each:

Group classes are by far the most economical way to get the information you need for training your dog. For a fee, trainers usually offer a set of five to eight classes (an hour each week) during which you are instructed by the trainer on how to train your dog. Group class offers dogs an opportunity to socialize with other dogs if the trainer allows interaction between friendly dogs. An adequate group class for a good trainer is about 10-12 dogs. In group class you share the trainer with your other classmates. If however you need more focused time with a trainer, private lessons may be for you. Tip: Ask to audit a class to watch the training style used. Is the class organized? Are people and dogs having fun?

Private lessons are usually based on an hourly rate and offer one-on-one training with the trainer for the full hour. You can take as many lessons as you can afford and space them out to fit your time and budget. Sometimes trainers can work with you in your home – the environment in which your dog may be misbehaving. So, while private lessons may be more expensive, flexibility and 100% trainer focus on you and your dog are the benefits.

Board and train programs vary in length depending on the trainer’s program. You leave your dog, usually for two to four weeks, and let the trainer work with your dog. For those that feel they don’t have the finesse or patience to train their dog, the board and train program could be the answer. The trainer can set a good foundation from which you can continue to build a more obedient dog. The trainer usually provides transfer lesson(s) where handling skills are taught and transferred to the owner. Tip: Tour facilities you are considering. Seeing where your dog will stay helps in the decision-making process.
Also remember that nothing prevents you from combining some of the above approaches. For example, many people will take a group class after boarding and training their dog to enhance their handling skills and work on distraction training. Others will oftentimes supplement their group class training with private lessons to address a specific behavioral problem that couldn’t be solved in class.
Copyright Pet Care Services 2009

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