Is Dog Obedience School For You?
Are you thinking about Dog Obedience School?
Do you know what to expect out of it? Do you know what it costs or where to find a good dog obedience school?
If not, let me help take out some of the mystery of finding one to make sure you and your dog get the best experience you can.
If you have searched the web in this topic, you probably found some sites that are basically search engines within search engines, no real information about dog obedience schools. Or you might have found some obedience schools that were on the other side of the country. Needless to say, neither one was of much use.
Chances are you have a dog obedience school of some sort in your town, unless you’ve got a population of less than 20,000. In that event, you might need to opt for dog training videos or books, and I will go over some good resources for that later.
The first thing I want you to do is look for someone with proven experience. You can start in the yellow pages and look under “Dog Training” as opposed to “dog obedience school.”
Ask a LOT of questions. These people are going to be molding the mind of your impressionable pup and you want to know that it’s a good fit.
Ask things like:
What will the dog be taught?
What is the success rate?
What happens if you’re not satisfied?
Will you be taught how to continue with your dogs new training?
What are their methods of correction when the dog disobeys?
Visit the facility too. Check it out. Meet the trainers and see how they act with people and dogs.
Ask if you can watch a training session or a video of a session so you get an idea of what your dog will be subjected to.
Don’t make a final decision on a dog obedience school until your dog has met the trainers. Dogs are extremely good judges of character.
For the most part, someone in this line of work is going to be a good person and a dog lover. Some, however, will be doing it just to get a paycheck and may not have your pal’s best interest in mind.
If your dog doesn’t like them… take another route.
You might want to consider the local 4-H club. 4-H is where I learned how to train my own dog as a child. It isn’t a dog obedience school in the traditional sense. It teaches kids how to train their dogs, or a friend’s dog. It’s a youth education program and it provides many facets of education, one of which is often dog training.
Watch more dog training videos, if you would like an alternative to dog obedience school.
Leash Training Your Dog
Attempting to train your dog to walk on a leash may feel like you’re a contestant in a tug-of-war contest. But, it doesn’t have to. If you take a few precautions, use the proper equipment, and are consistent in your training routine, then your puppy or dog will be an enjoyment to walk all around.
As far as equipment is concerned, there’s a lot available. One popular item of yesteryear was the use of a choke collar. This chained collar, sometimes lined with tiny barbs, was and is a cruel way to train your animal. It has been proven not to be an effective training tool. However, a leash attached to a collar or harness is not cruel. The best leashes are usually made of leather. These are durable and will last an eternity of wear and tear. You can use a regular buckle or snap collar, a body harness or even a chain collar. A chain collar is not a choker collar and shouldn’t be used like one. A chain collar should only be used to make a noise (with a snap of the leash) that will get your puppy’s attention. He will know that the noise means that he should either heel or sit. I highly recommend a harness for small dogs.
At first, allow the puppy to wear his leash and collar (or harness) around the house. This way he knows that he does not have to be scared of it and will also get used to how it feels. And, he will know that it is supposed to be loose; in other words, that it is not for pulling. Before you take your puppy out, let him do this two or three times a day for a few days. Be sure that your puppy has another chew toy available, as you don’t want the leash to be associated as a toy. Make a no play toys rule when it comes to the leash. Your puppy should also know the sit command. You can teach it easily with doggy treats. When you put the leash on your puppy or dog, be sure that he sits and waits until you’ve snapped it on. He may be excited, but he shouldn’t move.
It’s best, when walking on the leash with you for the first time that you don’t practice outdoors. This is primarily because there are a lot of distractions. It’s best if you can practice for a few days in a garage or large room.
Once you’ve got an area, make sure that when you walk with your dog the leash stays loose at all times. Walk with the puppy or dog and say “heel” in a low, but strong voice.
When walking, the dog’s shoulder blades should be parallel to your leg. Most owners want their dog to heel on the left side of their body. If he decides to go ahead of you, abruptly change or reverse directions so that he will then be behind you, or on the other end of the leash. With this method, the leash remains loose, and the dog knows that you are his guide, and not vice-versa.
Do not drag your puppy or dog back towards you. Correct him so that he doesn’t pull you. Also, do not yank your puppy around while training him. You want it to be a fun and worthwhile experience, a reward and not a punishment. With each new direction, repeat, “heel”. When you stop, be sure your dog sits so that it will become habitual when he’s outside or in public.
This method is proven an effective means of training your dog. Give yourself plenty of time. It is one of the hardest things to teach your new puppy or dog. Just know that you have to have unlimited patience at first. It may take several weeks. The reward of having a leash-trained dog is well worth it. Perhaps you can even work to the point where a leash isn’t necessary in certain places; that the dog will heel by your side at all times, automatically.
Do you have any tips to share with us on Dog Training or Obedience School?