Sit, Stay, Speak!
Another option would be to find a private trainer to come to your home and evaluate your dog. Perhaps taking a few lessons at home will give you the confidence you need to work with your dog in a group setting. Or, perhaps you'll find that working with a private trainer gives you and your dog the skills you need to live in harmony -- wonderful! Mission accomplished.
So how about that whirling dervish youngster? In years past, training classes were not an option for puppies because it was believed that early exposure put young animals at high risk for contracting serious illnesses. However, in recent times, puppy classes have become the norm. Why the change? These days, most professionals agree that the health risks of early exposure are minimal when compared to the greater risk of dogs ending up homeless due to bad behavior. Nevertheless, some veterinarians and puppy owners may still feel uncomfortable with the idea of taking puppies out in public before all of their vaccinations are complete.
World-renowned veterinary behaviorist Dr. Nicholas Dodman of Tufts University, author of The Dog Who Loved Too Much and Dogs Behaving Badly, offers this advice: "Certainly, every situation is different, so owners must weigh the options and do what they believe is best for their pets, but I believe the risk of adult dogs becoming shelter statistics due to behavioral issues is far greater than the risk of young puppies becoming ill due to exposure. Early socialization provides puppies with the best opportunity to become well-adjusted pets and integral family members."
However, for those owners who decide to hold off on group classes until their puppies are older, in-home instruction is a sensible option. Working with a private trainer, even for a session or two, can put puppies on the right path to good behavior until they're ready for class.
On the other hand, suppose you'd like to attend a class, but you live too far away from one? Then don't hesitate to contact a private trainer, but be sure to find one that's right for you by inquiring about the trainer's experience and the services offered. Remember, just like the group class instructor, the private instructor should be able to explain to you his/her training methodology. You may also want to determine if the individual belongs to any professional organizations. Affiliation with peer groups is by no means a guarantee of good instruction, but it indicates that the trainer is interested in continuing education opportunities and networking.
Be certain to ask the prospective instructor about the length of in-home visits and the fee schedule. Private training sessions can last from one to three hours, depending on the nature of the visit. Some instructors charge by the hour, while others charge a flat per-visit fee. It's best to understand how you're being charged before the instructor arrives.
What if you need to cancel an appointment? Find out if there's a cancellation policy. Additionally, some instructors may offer incentives or discounts, so be sure to ask.
3 years ago
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We’ve all grown accustomed to the many fundraisers and charitable events that the pet industry produces for homeless pets. From pet food companies… more ›