What are the Best Options for Training Your Dog? Whether you just adopted a tiny pup or rescued an older dog from a shelter or special group, chances are that you’ve already lost a shoe or two and the wooden legs of the living room furniture are in imminent danger. Spots on the carpet, shredded mini blinds, and gnawed-up door frames are just a few of the tell-tale signs that somebody needs some training!
Maybe that somebody is you, and maybe it’s your dear little dog, but either way, something has to change. Dog owners today have more options than ever when it comes to puppy and dog training. Here are a few of the choices you’ve got, along with some pros and cons to evaluate which one is right for you and your new furry pal.
DIY Dog Training
Experienced pet owners may wish to save a few bucks and DIY their puppy or dog training. This can be a special bonding experience between you and your new furbaby, but if this is your first foray into dog ownership, you will benefit greatly from at least a few sessions with a professional to get the basics down before going it alone. There are numerous books and online programs to help you DIY your dog training, or you can take one of the dog training seminars offered at Just Happy Hounds.
Private & Group Dog Training Classes
If you choose the professional route, you can opt for either private or group classes for you and your pet. Group classes offer the additional benefit of helping your puppy learn to socialize with other animals while also learning the basic commands. Private classes are usually more expensive, but if you’ve rescued a dog from a bad situation and they came with some difficult behavioral issues, this one-on-one, customized training can be immensely valuable in helping your dog to heal and recover.
Obedience Training & Behavioral Training
There are two basic types of public and group dog training courses: obedience training and behavioral training. Obedience training focuses on helping the dog to learn to obey you and understand basic commands like “sit” “stay” and “wait”. Behavioral training is often a part of obedience training, or can be offered as a stand-alone course. Behavioral training is ideal for puppies, and addresses common issues like behaving well around people and other pets, when it’s okay to bark and when it isn’t, addressing chewing issues, and helping the owner with housebreaking efforts. Both behavioral and obedience dog training are available as either group or private classes.
Boarding School Dog Training (Puppy Boot Camp)
Instead of taking your dog to training classes each week, you can opt for a boarding school style dog training. These are like doggie resorts. Classes are offered at various levels, from beginner through advanced. Puppies or dogs go to the resort, where they are given intensive training that includes a variety of socialization, behavioral and obedience training, and more. Dogs return to their owner with great new habits and skills, freshly groomed and ready to be happy, productive members of the family.
Vocational / Service Dog Training
Many pet owners choose to get their dogs certified in a vocational service. Some of the most common types of service dogs are those who help disabled owners with daily tasks. Dogs are subjected to intensive testing before training, to assure that they have the abilities to learn to become a service dog. Once they pass, they go through a rigorous training program to help their owners with any number of daily tasks and chores to make life easier and better for their human companion.
Working dogs are happy dogs! Pet owners who suffer from anxiety, seizures, heart conditions, limited mobility, visual or auditory impairment, or many other issues can tremendously benefit from having their dog certified as a service pet. This type of training does need to be done by a professional dog trainer, because the skills the dogs need to learn far surpass what most owners would be able to achieve from just reading a book or taking an online course.
No matter which option you choose, Just Happy Hounds can help as you ask yourself what are the best options for training your dog. From seminars and dog training classes to private sessions with a professional dog trainer, we offer a wide range of product and services to get you and your furry BFF off to the very best possible start together. See what options we offer to help you get started with the right training program today!