Last month I spoke about what a good dog a trained dog is. How do you get a trained dog? There are a variety of ways—learning from training books, private lessons, and group dog training classes. If you’re like me, trying to learn something complicated from a book without the benefit of asking questions is frustrating. Private lessons are best for you and your dog if there are specific and complicated behaviors to be learned, but you will be paying for the individual time of an instructor. Taking a group dog instruction class is the best choice for your dollar if you are looking to learn general behaviors. You will learn from an instructor who has devoted significant hours into education and training of dogs and people.
Group dog classes are wonderful because you have the opportunity to ask questions of an instructor who has had everything happen with their dogs or dogs they have trained that you may be dealing with. You haven’t lived until the only way you can get a dog to come to you in the dark and during an ice storm is to lay down in a busy intersection at 5 PM rush hour! But that story is for another article. Good instructors help you with selection of proper training equipment and provide class safety—you and your dog should feel relaxed enough to practice skills. Look for a class that provides you and your dog plenty of room to work. They also modify exercises to suit you and your dog’s level, and will be available to field quick questions in between classes.
Veterinary hospitals sometimes will have a large enough waiting room to hold a puppy class—a combination of puppy socializing with each other and learning to work with their humans. The added benefit is the puppy associates happy experiences with the Vet’s office. Even if your Vet‘s office is unable to accommodate puppy classes, discuss with your Veterinarian about when to start puppy training class. Puppy socialization is important to your dog’s mental health. A dog doesn’t have to be a puppy or young adult to benefit from a class. Older dogs will appreciate a weekly outing to give him mental stimulation or sharpen his skills. Group dog training classes with specific themes—really reliable recall or tricks, to name a couple are fun and useful.
There is a group class for every dog. Look for a class that will be a safe place to learn, fun, and has a qualified instructor. Dog training is an unregulated industry, there are efforts made to legitimize it, so you will sometimes see an alphabet soup of letters behind an instructor’s name. These signify they have gone through training and testing of their skills through a certification council. Asking about possible credentials is a way to figure out if the instructor has had advanced education which will reflect in their classroom skills.
Rock Nest Training & Pet Care, LLC is offering weekly group puppy and adult classes. Look for us on facebook under Rock Nest Pet Care. For more information about services, please contact us at www.rocknestpetcare.com or call 541-895-3162.