The majority of obedience dog training instructors are experienced and compassionate – but some obedience schools use techniques that might not be right for your unique pooch. Every canine has different training needs and needs to be trained with an approach that fits. It may take a few phone calls and observation sessions with the training centers in your area, but persistence will pay off with better behavior from your faithful companion.
Questions to Ask on the Phone
Asking questions about the obedience dog training program on the phone beforehand can save you time and money on visits to incompatible trainers.
It is extremely important that you find out about a dog training class before taking your pup in for a visit. There are no “one size fits all” types of classes out there no matter what the facility claims. Factors like class size and composition are important – for instance, if your pet hasn’t had much experience with strange dogs you’d want to go with a smaller class of gentle canine pupils.
You’ll want to describe your canine’s current behavior progress and your future goals – but be honest. A dog may be encouraged to take private lessons if they are aggressive, have a disability, or are not yet potty trained. Find out what the trainer is equipped to handle to prevent your dog from enduring unnecessary obedience dog training hardships.
And the most important question of all: do the trainers stick to positive reinforcement methods? Even if the answer is “yes”, you might want to dig a bit deeper – ask about corrections and avoid any form of punishment-based training.
Observing an Obedience Dog Training Class
Do you like what you hear about the obedience dog training techniques being used? Ask the training supervisor or trainer if you can stop by to observe a session. Whenever you get a chance, make sure to ask the other students about their experiences – do the other owners like and trust the instructor? While class is in session look to see if the instructor answers questions and accepts comments; it is important that you are able to effectively communicate with the teacher and assistants.
You can learn a lot about an obedience dog training class by looking at the canines – are the happy? Energetic? Canines that look afraid of the trainer are not having a good experience. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable, do not be afraid to walk out the door without looking back. A single bad training experience can create bad habits that take years to unlearn.
As long as you ask plenty of questions both beforehand and during observation, you should be able to find the perfect obedience dog training group. Don’t be afraid to pull out of a class that doesn’t seem to be working, or if you see anything that makes you uncomfortable – you know your companion better than anybody else. Once you find a great obedience dog training school, you’ll be glad that you stuck with your search.