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What to expect at doggy training

Walking (or being dragged by your yet-to-be-trained pooch) into a dog training class can be fraught with nervousness. If you’ve never attended a class, you don’t know what to expect. You may even be embarrassed to take your untrained dog to the class. Never fear: You will be surrounded by sympathetic pet parents.

The type of class you’re attending determines what occurs during, but you should be prepared for it to be a fun, interactive learning and bonding experience with your dog. Your dog will benefit from the training class because dogs are social animals and without proper training they will behave like…well, animals!

What kind of dog training class will you attend?

The type of doggy training you and your pup attend depends on how old the pup is, and what your expectations are for a good doggy citizen.

Classes encompass training and lessons in the following areas: 

  • Socialization—general or special training for shy canines
  • Reactivity
  • Manners—basic, intermediate and advanced—including commands like sit and stay, walking on a leash, responding when called, etc.
  • Competitive skills, such as agility or nosework
  • Skill(s) certification

Preparing for dog training class

Look at the curriculum for the class you’re signing up for and ask the trainer what you should bring to the class. You will want to know how many other dogs might be in the class and what you will be taught. Be prepared to put in time outside of the classroom working with your dog to reinforce what you’ve been taught in the class—repetition is crucial to learning and retention. (For both of you!)

What to expect at doggy training

In a basic dog obedience training class, prepare to meet weekly. The sessions typically last for an hour and courses run four to eight weeks. A basic dog obedience training class will cover social behavior, basic training and training-related topics to curb undesirable behavior such as jumping or tugging on the leash.

Note: A basic dog obedience class is not designed to address and solve all your dog’s behavioral problems. This class is designed to provide you and your dog a solid foundation upon which to learn, grow and bond with your dog.  

When you attend a basic obedience training class you help your dog understand what you expect of him (sit and stay, or walking well on a leash) and it provides you with the knowledge of how to communicate with your dog. It will strengthen the bond between you and your dog because you will both understand each other better. Also, attending the class will provide your dog exercise, socialization and a sense of accomplishment (many dogs like having “jobs).

An experienced and qualified trainer will provide the following:

  • Insight into how your dog views the world
  • An understanding of how dogs learn
  • Assurance your dog enjoys doing what you want him to do
  • Training your dog by using the words of a command and rewarding him for compliance
  • Using your dog’s natural instincts to enhance the training experience

During the basic obedience class, expect your dog will learn the basics such as: sit, stay, come, heel and down. If you’d like your dog to receive more in depth training, it’s best that he (and you) master basic obedience before signing him or her up for other classes.

Be sure to approach doggy training classes as a way for you and your dog to strengthen your bond and to deepen the lifelong relationship you both will share.

Editor’s Note: In this interview with a dog trainer, we discuss training expectations with Fetchfind’s Lynda Lobo.

Robbi Hess, award-winning author, is multi-petual: She shares her home with two Devon Rex kittens, three adult rescue cats, a mini poodle, a Goldendoodle, three lizards and two ferrets. When not caring for her pets, she is an editor, speaker, time management and productivity guru, content creator, social media manager and blogger. She writes at All Words MatterMy Divas Dish, and is the story editor and chief cat herder at Positively Woof.

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