Some dogs do well in a dog class, others don't.
Dogs which have done Puppy School in a dog training school and which have been well socialized since puppies will have some level of experience in a similar environment and may settle better then those who have never been in this situation before.
Other factors that may influence are:
- dog's age
- ability of dog and owner to focus in a group class situation
- how does the dog behave every time he/ she sees other dogs? Any over excitement
or reactivity displayed?
- level of experience and qualification of the dog trainer
- is it a good and large enough venue so dogs and owners can have enough room to
spread around nicely? Ideally each dog should have at least about 1.40cm distance
from one another - or approximately 1 leads' length in between them
- is the dog going to join a small group class or a big class (over 8 dogs in the group)
- level of expectation of dog owner about a dog group class. Bearing in mind that in
a group class the instructor has to distribute their attention in between all dogs &
people in a even manner and to follow a dog training program and class plan.
- previous communication / information you've shared about your dog with the
Before you join and enrol in a dog school class you should:
- check the qualification of the dog trainer and the training methods
he/ she offers. Only choose positive reinforcement , force free trainers
- talk about your dog over the phone with the trainer and ask questions. You may
even ask if you could come and check 1 of their classes before you join in.
Only communication over e-mails or checking their Social Media pages isn't
enough to make a decision. Not every trainer is hooked on Social Media or
have lots of time for it. Some trainers do an incredible amount of
volunteer work at animal shelters, animal associations, help look after elderly
family members, children and so on. And while talking with them in person
or via the phone you can get a better idea about the person's personality, if they
are caring, knowledgeable, if you both would be a good match to work with one
another and if you have doubts about your dog suitability to class the trainer may
offer to 'meet and greet' your dog first and to make a Temperament Assesssment
- when enrolling in class make sure you fill in an Enrolment Form in
advance with as much information about your dog as possible and about yourself
and your family situation
- fill in, read and sign any Terms & Conditions, Policy Terms and/ or Disclaimers
- buy any material you need to bring to class - in advance
If your dog doesn't do well by 2nd class date, just ask the trainer about the possibility of doing Private Training with you and your dog instead. Keep in mind this will cost a bit more.
- if this happens please don't see it as a failure experience. It's not your fault neither
your dog's neither the instructor's. Many times a dog can do much better if he has
private training. Not all dogs do well in a group class.
Situations when Private Training may be the way the go:
- very excitable shelter dogs which haven't been around dogs before
- reactive dogs
- dog owner has some medical condition or not enough knowledge of English
language and would have some degree of difficulty to follow a group class with
- pet owner isn't available during class times and he needs to start the dog in
- dog owner would like to focus in training the dog in only 2 to 4 very specific areas
- many issues at home that require dog trainer to do private visits to assess
situation and provide guidelines in the home for all the family