Getting the most out of your Group Class
Group classes are an excellent way to learn more about training your dog from a professional. If you have never owned a dog before, or this is your first dog without your parents help, then Group classes are a great place to start. You will learn the basic cues your dog will need to succeed. Also, commensurate with other dog owners going through the same things. You may also notice that the class is structured into Basic, Intermediate and Advanced classes. There is a reason for this! Classes are broken into 5 to 6 week classes so they do not overwhelm the person at the end of the leash. One hour classes are meant to teach a behavior and allow you and your dog to spend the week practicing the behavior at home. Then, at the next class, the instructor can teach you another behavior. Just like children in school, they start with preschool and move up to elementary school as they have mastered the behaviors in each grade level. At the next level each of those behaviors are built upon to create a well behaved pooch.
Why take a Group Class
Classes are also really important for teaching your dog to pay attention to you when other exciting things are happening. All of our trainers also take group classes with their dogs. It helps to teach them to focus with other dogs around, and to challenge their skills. This helps build a relationship with your dog and also create positive experiences around new things. Instructors should be creating a safe environment for you and your dog to learn, which in turn teaches your dog that you are their safe space.
Just because the class is 6 weeks, doesn’t mean your dog will learn the things in 6 weeks. Some dogs may need to stay at one level for more than one class to learn all the things and be proficient enough to move forward. Training does not end once you have introduced the exercise to your dog, you have to continue to build on it and make it work for your life.
When Private School might be a better option
Sometimes your group class does not go as planned. Set yourself up for success with your really amazing treats like cheese and hot dogs. Your paycheck has to be better than the other dogs. Sometimes all the things in group class are just too overwhelming for the dog and the owner to be able to concentrate. That is where Private Lessons can be beneficial for you and your dog. Remember your dog is learning through every interaction, and experience with you. Make it count.