Your dog is a wild animal and we all know that. Without proper training and discipline, it will have a lot of trouble becoming a well adjusted member of your family. For both you and your dog to co-exist, it needs to be trained right from its puppyhood.
If you are unable to make that kind of time, it would be better for you to consider puppy training classes. Basic obedience and behavior training isn’t something that you should overlook and they are just as important for your pup as the right kind of school would be for your kids.
But, how do you choose the right training school for them? Here’s an essential check list that I’ve made for you. It has some questions you need to ask yourself before you settle on a training school for your pup. While there might be several other questions you may be able to think of depending on your individual situation, these ones are by far the most important.
What kind of Training Style do they Use?
Any puppy training school worth its salt will be just as concerned about your pet as you are and will not compromise on the training method they use. Gone are the days when trainers didn’t know better than to use negative reinforcement techniques. Today, with better understanding of dog psychology, we know that nothing works better than positive reinforcement. They are effective and the dog is happier to learn when it doesn’t fear constant reprimanding and heavy handedness.
One good way to do this is to go over to the training school and watch them at work personally. This way, you will get to know firsthand how the dogs feel being there and how the trainer handles them. If any school refuses to let you do this, cross them off your list. If everything is above board, why do they need to hide it from you?
Are they Reputable?
By reputable, I am not simply talking about puppy training classes that are popular, though that is one aspect. After all, people wouldn’t really put their trust in a training school, if they weren’t good enough, right? While popularity is one way of verifying the credibility of the school, there are other ways too.
- Check on their credentials and make sure that they are accredited professionals
- How do they score with the local vet and rescue shelter? These are great sources for you to check on since they are constantly in contact with all kinds of trainers. They will be able to give you some feedback in this regard.
- Are they in the good books of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals? One great way of getting a list of reliable trainers is to contact the ASPCA. You can always count on them to point in the right direction.
What kind of Classroom Arrangement do they have?
A lot of dog owners prefer private lessons whereas group classes are far better for your dog. They help your dog become more sociable and get used to the idea of interacting with other dogs. Private classes don’t allow you this benefit and it’s always better to choose group classes over one-on-ones.
Are they dedicated to the Cause?
Not all pups learn the first time round. If your pup is the kind that needs a little bit of working on, will the trainer be willing to do so? Be it something as simple as puppy leash training or a more complicated command, will they be patient enough to work with your dog till it gets the command or give up after a few tries? Are they willing to train you so that you are able to continue your pup’s training once he is out of the training school? Most good schools will do that.
Like I mentioned before, choosing the right kind of training classes for your pup is no less a responsibility for you than picking a good elementary school for your daughter. Given the hundreds of training schools that have begun to mushroom in various nooks and crannies, you need to be sure that you pick out the best one from among them. It’s for the sake of your dog’s good life.