Puppy Training Classes
Why go to Puppy Training Classes?
Like most things in life, things often seem to drop into place once you've seen them demonstrated. A puppy training class is a great way for you to pick up tips and information, and for your dog to learn how to behave around other dogs.
I highly recommend taking your puppy to proper training classes. The Kennel Club promotes a Good Citizenship scheme for dogs, and there will probably be a training class near you that leads to certification under this scheme. The Kennel Club website has a list of trainers offering this training.
Some puppy training classes run continually, that is, people will be joining each week, so there may be little consistency in the training as different things are being taught to different people.
In my opinion the better courses are those which run over a period of six to eight weeks, and where all beginners start and learn together.
Trainers have different approaches to training, so it is useful to go along to observe a class before enrolling your puppy. Make sure that you go to a trainer who uses positive training methods. Avoid any trainer who promotes the Dominance Theory - i.e. Shaking the puppy, alpha rolls etc. These methods are outdated and cruel, and most importantly, have only the effect of making your dog afraid of you. Positive training methods reward the desired behaviour, so your puppy will want to please you.
At Puppy Training you will be shown how the sit, down, stay and recall commands. You will be shown the trainer’s preferred ways to train a puppy (there are many ways, and not necessarily one right way), and will have somewhere to get those burning questions answered and get advice with problems.
Your puppy will learn how to socialise correctly with other dogs - when and when not to play, how to behave when walking past another puppy on a lead.
Puppy Training should really be called ‘owner training’ as it’s more about helping you to understand what you should be doing with your puppy.
After completion of the basic classes you can continuing training your puppy in Obedience, Agility (young dogs will not be jumping but will be able to take part in other activites) or Ringcraft if you are thinking of showing your dog. You can also try for the Bronze, Silver and Gold Good Citizen awards!
One thing you'll learn from puppy training is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You'll find that other people's puppies were not born well behaved either, and that the problems you have will probably be there problems too.
Getting the puppy's attention
Fun learning how to walk properly on a lead
Learning how to walk past another dog (not quite there yet!)
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Puppy Training is often run by a local dog club or society, and can be a lot cheaper than one run by a private trainer. Prices vary from around £1.50 per week to £60 for a six week course. Ask around for recommendations.