Are you ready to start training your dog? Signing up for a dog training class and having a certified dog training professional to help you along the way means you and your dog will get the feedback and support you need to reach your training goals faster. There are many dog training class options to pick from, depending on what you and your dog need.
It's important to confirm with a potential dog trainer that all dog training strategies utilize positive reinforcement. Negative reinforcement should never be used for dog training or behavioral modification. Your veterinarian can also be a resource for questions and recommendations regarding dog training and finding a trainer.
Private dog training classes are one-on-one sessions with a dog trainer where you and your dog are the only students. These private classes might be done in your home or at a dog training facility if your trainer has a physical business location. Private dog training classes allow for a lot of flexibility in scheduling. They don’t follow a set curriculum — instead, your dog trainer will create a personalized training plan for you and your dog, based on the things you want to train.
Group dog training classes are regularly scheduled training sessions with multiple dogs and their owners, with one dog training instructor per class. In some classes, there will be assistant trainers who assist the head trainer and help students.
Group dog training classes follow a set curriculum based on the specific type and level of the dog training class.
The dog trainer will usually work through a few different cues each week. First, they’ll explain the behavior, then demonstrate the behavior (sometimes with their own dog, but more often with a student’s dog), have the students all practice the behavior, and give feedback. At the end of each weekly class, you’ll receive some homework to practice before the next group training class.
Group dog training classes are for more than just learning the basics. While many dog owners sign up for puppy class or basic obedience 101, there’s more you can do in a group dog training class to expand your dog’s skills and have lots of fun.
Here are a few examples of the different types of dog training classes:
Many large pet stores offer dog training classes in their stores and have a team of on-staff dog trainers. You can often find facilities dedicated solely to dog training classes with multiple dog trainers as a part of their team. For self-employed dog trainers that don’t operate out of a brick-and-mortar location, they might use a local park or community center to hold group training classes.
It’s never too early or too late to start training your dog! If you’ve brought a new puppy or adopted dog home, getting started in a group dog training class is a great way to build your relationship and practice good habits from the get-go. Even if you’ve had your dog for years, signing up for a training class is a great activity to do together, and is a wonderful boredom buster and enrichment experience.