Choosing the Best Training Option

Dog Trainers offer a variety of training options for their clients. Each option has its pros and cons. I am going to share the different options and outline the benefits and drawbacks of each of them.  Your job as a pet owner is to contact trainers, view their face book and website and talk to previous clients to see which trainer offers the programs and personality to meet your needs.

Group Classes

Group classes are the most economical. Typically, classes run for 6-8 weeks and meet for 1 hour each week. You work with your dog in a group setting. The benefits are cost, opportunities for distractions and  safe socialization. The drawbacks are less personalized instruction owner follow through between lessons.  The more you practice the better your dog retains the information.

Private Lessons

Private Lessons are a little more expensive but allow the trainer to come into your home (or you can travel to their facility). You receive 1-1 attention so they can focus on the specific concerns you are having. This option is great for dogs that may have behavior issues such as separation anxiety, resource guarding or aggression. This helps the trainer assess your home environment and makes recommendations to set your dog up for success. Typically, the trainer will follow up with emails and videos to hold you accountable. This program works if you follow through with the trainers’ recommendations and suggestions. Many trainers offer discounts or packages for multiple lessons.

Day Training/Day Camp

Day Training/Day Camp usually involves dropping your dog off at a trainer’s home or facility and the trainer works with your dog multiple times during the day. Some trainers may also travel to your home to work with your dog. Video and detailed notes are reviewed, and the trainer follows up with you at the end of the day or program.  The trainer is setting the foundation for your dog and helping you to see that your dog CAN complete the obedience commands and good manners BUT you still need to keep the momentum going at home.

Board and Train or Doggie Boot Camp

The Board and Train or Doggie Boot Camp option requires you leave your dog with a trainer or boarding facility for 1 to 4 weeks and trainers will work with your dog on basic obedience commands, household manners and behavior issues. You receive a detailed  go home lesson upon return and usually 1-2 follow up lessons to make sure the dog is successful. This is the most expensive option but is excellent for busy families, families that don’t want to deal with potty training or families that just need a break from their dog.  This option allows your dog to “reboot” and practice consistent behaviors and routine each day. There is usually video sent to owners and daily updates so you can see your dog’s progress. In addition, many trainers offer accountability classes that you can attend to keep up your dog’s great work.

Hopefully this is helpful in determining which program option is best for you and your family.

In our August blog, we will be sharing information about how to choose the right dog trainer!