Obedience Training for Dogs
What do you think of when you hear “obedience training”? Does it entail going to doggy classes? Or maybe it means that your dog understands basic commands?
The term “obedience training” can mean all that and more. Nowadays, you may choose to enroll your dogs in a class or find a private trainer. Alternatively, you can train your dog at home with the help of online training programs like Brain Training for Dogs.
If you want to know what obedience training may involve, and how to start, you’ve come to the right place because we will provide a few basics about obedience training for dogs. Keep reading to make sure you choose the right program.
When most people think of obedience training, basic commands come to mind. Does your dog know how to “stay,” “sit,” and “come?” These are usually training topics that beginner obedience training programs may cover.
That said, there are advanced classes, too. These are usually for dogs that enter competitions and involve high-level commands where accuracy and performance matter. Many regular dog owners don’t get this advanced, but these types of classes are usually also available for owners who want it.
Obedience Training Benefits
You may have been wondering if your dog needs obedience training, especially if you have a breed that’s already relatively calm and well-mannered. According to experts and pioneers of online dog training programs, whether your dog is well-behaved or not, obedience training is suggested because of the following benefits:
Building a positive bond
Developing social and life skills
Helping prevent the development of unwanted behaviors
May help during life-threatening situations
How Long Does It Take?
As you might expect, obedience training doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and patience to teach your dog properly, and an exact period may be hard to pinpoint because each dog learns differently.
Typically, basic obedience training classes run for six to eight weeks, and each module usually lasts for approximately an hour with the expectation that you couple this with training at home.
How Often Should You Train at Ho
If you do decide to enroll your dog in classes, you also have to continue training at home. Home training sessions may be as short as five to 10 minutes and are done once or twice a day.
The Brain Training for Dogs suggests that frequent training sessions helps your dog learn new commands more efficiently. So, you can count on doing this four to five times a week, not including class time.
What Obedience Training Program Should You Choose?
Determining what obedience training program is ideal for your canine pal requires you to consider a few things to make sure that you meet your goals without compromising the welfare of your dog.
The most important one is that you need to decide whether you want the training to take place at home or in another location. There are pros and cons to both, and it may come down to your individual needs.
Training at Home
Obedience training at home is very convenient. You can always look for a dog trainer that gives private lessons, but you must consider the fact that bringing in a stranger to teach your dog can have a long-lasting impact. Hence, it’s important that the dog trainer is someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
As such, ask friends and family members who have well-behaved dogs for trainer recommendations. You may also want to ask your dog’s veterinarian and local humane society for trainers and classes that they recommend.
On the other hand, many people like training their dogs themselves since it’s cost-effective. Fortunately, there are many training aids on the market and online.
You can check out videos and blogs or read a book or two. It may take a little more work on your part, especially if both you and your dog are new to training, but DIY training offers an opportunity to grow your relationship with your dog.
Also, since your dog is the primary focus, you can tailor lessons to their specific needs. In addition, you can choose what your dog learns, so if certain commands are a higher priority than others, you don’t have to wait until the class covers that topic.
However, training at home may make it more difficult for your dog to listen to commands when outside of the house, so you may need to get creative as you introduce new variables into the distraction training.
Enrolling in Classes
Enrolling your dog in obedience training classes also has its benefits. A class full of dogs may give your own dog a chance for socialization. This may also help them learn to follow commands while distracted—an environment that isn’t so readily available if you train at home.
When you enroll your dog in a training school of your choice, they will usually tell you the equipment and supplies you need before the first class. Since you will be in an environment with other dogs, you will probably need some sort of leash and collar.
For most schools, a buckle or snap collar with a leash that’s four feet to six feet long is sufficient. However, if you have a big, strong dog, you may want to consider something sturdier like a front-hook harness.
Additionally, check out the facility itself prior to enrolling your dog. You may want to see how clean the area is and also know the vaccination requirements.
Furthermore, check out a class before enrolling if you can. This way you can see the trainer in action. Also, pay attention to the dogs and owners. Are they happy in class?
Additional Questions to Ask
Once you’ve narrowed down your training location and decided to enroll your dog in classes or hire a private trainer, you still have a lot to consider. Some questions you may want to research include:
What type of training do they offer?
Do they train the dog solo or with you?
What type of training methods do they use?
Do they only train in groups or is individual training available?
Does the trainer have any credentials and what are they?
Obedience training is a must for dogs of any age. Not only does it help them socialize better, but it can also provide the stimulation that many high-energy breeds need.
Your dog doesn’t need to be a show dog to benefit from intermediate and advanced obedience training programs. Learning new skills can provide a challenge that can strengthen your bond and give the dog a new avenue of exercising mentally as well as physically.
Finally, online dog trainers can be invaluable if you decide to train your dog yourself. In What is better is that some online programs, especially the Brain Training for Dogs, also has a support team and an exclusive forum, so you get the best of both worlds—at-home convenience and like-minded dog owners and professional help at your fingertips.