Even if you’re an experienced dog owner or if your pup is fairly polite, many reasons exist to enroll in a group dog training class. Read on to learn how you and your dog of any age may benefit from taking a class.
Better the bond.
First, learn how to better communicate with your dog by improving your training skills. Better communication makes relationships stronger, easier and happier! Second, strengthen your relationship through shared successes of learning a new skill. Third, spending enjoyable time with your dog translates into a closer emotional connection. Training class provides “date night” with your dog - the one-on-one teamwork time translates into an improved relationship. Not only will you spend that special time investing in your dog during class, but you’ll also find that you’re spending more time training your dog outside of class!
Polish the skills you and your dog already have by doing them in a group class setting and learning even more key life skills or fun behaviors. You may also set a goal of earning an award or title for your hard-earned abilities, such as the S.T.A.R. Puppy or the Canine Good Citizen (CGC).
Socialize your hound with other dogs, with new people, and to a new environment. Your dog needs to get out and about and have positive interactions with the outside world. These positive exposures enable your dog to learn to properly speak his own language, interact politely with dogs and humans, and be a well-adjusted traveler and companion. Dogs that do not regularly experience interactions with new places, pups, and people, may struggle later in life if their owners expect them to react normally and behave well when they are placed outside of their normal routines and settings.
Group class also provides you with the opportunity to develop new two-legged and four-legged friendships that extend outside of class. Dog class may be filled with students who, like you, want to include their dogs in their !
How old should your puppy be when he starts group classes? According to the guideline from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), “Puppies can start socialization classes as early as 7 to 8 weeks of age. In general, they should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least seven days prior to the first class as well as a first deworming.”
Work successfully in distractions.
Many dogs listen at home or in places with low levels of activity; however, many dogs struggle to comply with commands and to show self-control during greetings in busy, public settings. Group class will give you the opportunity to refine, perfect, and maintain good behaviors with new people, new dogs, and controlled distractions.
Acquire new methods and skills.
Good instructors keep their knowledge updated and learn new methods of teaching dogs and handlers. The instructor will pass this knowledge to you so that you are a better trainer and can more clearly indicate to the dog the desired behavior. In addition to enhancing your training skills and your dog training timing, you will also learn new skills. For example, perhaps you’ll learn how to train some new tricks and earn Trick Dog titles!
Research training facilities and reserve your spot before the class fills. Do not procrastinate signing up; often there are waitlists of several weeks for popular instructors and classes. Many classes fill after the holidays when life settles back down. The dark, cold winter months or hot summer months are great times to enroll in a climate-controlled group class. Happy training!