Find a Good Dog Training Class

Puppies 3 dogs 1993812 1024 768 2 300x225 Find a Good Dog Training Class

One of the first things you should be thinking about when you get a new dog is dog training. If you do a search on Google for the phrase “dog trainer”, you will find pages of results. How do you know what type of training program or trainer you should look at? What would be the best fit for you and your dog?

There are many dog training styles. Various approaches exist, such as a sympathetic approach using positive reinforcement or a more forceful sort of training where you are the pack’s “alpha leader”.

Up until recent times, a dog was not considered a part of the family, in such a way as we think of them now. In prior decades, a dog was considered just another animal that received next to no training and when it did get in trouble, it received severe punishment.

Today’s trainers now recognize most of these severe methods as inappropriate as well as ineffective. The method that receives the most praise is the positive reinforcement method. Not only is this method effective, but it helps to foster confidence in your dog and the relationship your dog has with you.

Nearly all trainers will use the basic standards of training though their approach will vary widely. Take a closer look at your dog in order to figure out what type of training method would fit him. Does your dog have a history of abuse or was he potentially abused? Does he appear timid or insecure? Is he aggressive or dominant? In the past, has he had any basic training? Does he seem well mannered or does he have behavior problems? What type of relationship would you like with your dog beyond the basic companion? Is he your family’s pet? Are you training him for competition, tracking, agility or some type of hunting sport?

Now that you have a goal in mind, check your local newspaper or your Google results again. Write down the trainer’s information that you are interested in and look to see if they have their own website. If you know of some other dog owners, ask them about their dog trainers. To find other trainer recommendations, you could call local rescue groups, kennel groups and veterinarians.

Most likely you will want to look into trainers that use a positive reinforcement approach, however be sure to look into their background. Ask your potential dog trainer for referrals or better yet, see if you can observe one of their classes.

Though some trainers may come to your home for convenience, make sure to socialize your dog with people and animals. When they are trained, in an isolated environment, they will lack the socialization portion of training, which is important. They would have a good experience, in socialization, in a class setting.

Enroll your puppy, at the earliest stage that you can, into a beginner class or group. You want to get his socialization started early on.

In addition, if you have a dog that has previously been abused or has aggression issues make sure to seek an animal behaviorist that has been certified, instead of a regular dog trainer. A proper professional will be able to work out issues that may blow up if they are not addressed.

Most trainers have a beginning class referred to as “train the trainer” where the trainer works with you on correct communication skills as well as the correct tools to use, such as head collars, leads and clickers.

Once again, the most acceptable method used in dog training is the positive reinforcement method. Here are a few ways to recognize a positive reinforcement training class:

- it is reward based with the use of treats, praise or something of value to the animal when proper, requested behavior is shown by the animal
- diversionary tactics are used and unwanted behavior receives very little discipline
- the overall tone of the class is very upbeat
- the dog is given time to show the desired behavior and much patience is involved
- an unwanted behavior is quickly diverted with an incompatible behavior that is wanted (as an example, stop the dog from jumping on a person by having the dog sit instead)

Many resources are available in the library and online on dog training methods, as well as how to train your dog. Take the time to research the various methods and think about what would work best for your dog.

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You may also enjoy the article Dog Obedience – Basic House Training

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