Take a trip to your local animal shelter. You’ll find dozens (even hundreds) of pooches who need a home. The tragedy is that many of them were exiled from their past homes because their owners grew frustrated with their behavior. So, they’re brought to the shelter and abandoned.
By enrolling your dog into professional obedience classes, you can curb his/her unacceptable behaviors or even prevent them from developing. Below, I’ll give you 3 tips for finding a trainer who can work with your pooch and turn him/her into a faithful, loving, and obedient companion.
Tip #1: Choose Positive Reinforcement
Even today, as canine experts continue to gain a better understanding about the most effective strategies for training dogs, some trainers still use negative reinforcement. In effect, they punish poor behavior. A hard tug on the leash or collar, shouting, and physically mishandling your pooch can cause pain and fear.
Take your canine companion to an expert who uses positive reinforcement. Your pooch’s acceptable behaviors should be rewarded while objectionable behavior should be ignored. Not only is such training more humane, but it’s also more effective.
Tip #2: Ask For Referrals
Similar to finding a dentist or mechanic, asking other people for referrals is a great way to find a suitable trainer. If possible, visit a few training facilities and interview the owners. Ask about their experience, where they were trained, and the strategies they use in the obedience classes.
Keep in mind that the industry isn’t regulated by any authoritative association. If a canine expert claims to be part of a professional group, that alone doesn’t necessarily mean he (or she) is qualified or competent. Ideally, you should ask other owners who have enrolled their dogs into obedience training classes. If they had a positive experience, you – and your pooch – will likely have one, too.
Tip #3: Enroll In Group Classes
Obedience training is normally conducted in one of two ways: within a group setting or alone. In group classes, your canine companion will not only learn to modify his/her behaviors, but they will do so while interacting with other dogs and their owners. The experience socializes him/her; they will grow accustomed to being approached and handled by other people. Your pooch will also learn to get along with their peers.
If you enroll your pooch into training that doesn’t provide this type of interaction, they will miss a valuable learning opportunity.
Don’t let your dog’s age deter you from enrolling them into obedience classes. The earlier, the better, of course (after a puppy has reached 8 weeks). But, even if they are older, they can still benefit from the training. Ask other owners for referrals, choose a trainer who uses positive reinforcement techniques, and consider group education. You’ll discover the experience carries long-lasting advantages for you and your dog.