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What is the best type of training for your dog?

Have you ever thought "What type of training should I do with my dog?"

This is a question that I have been answering constantly for the past month or so. It has been crazy the number of new clients that I have started with me in the past 6 weeks or so.

We were busy, but now we are slammed! Of course, I say that in a very positive way. My goal is to help as many dogs and owners as possible. Making their lives and their dog's lives better.

The question that I often get is what is the best option for my dog. So for that reason, I am going to break it down into the four main options that I give to all my new students.

#1 Group Training - normally the most economical option, this is a class that is generally held once per week and has less than 6/7 dogs in a group. Some group classes are “set”, as in, there is a start and end date to the series of classes. Some group classes are “flexible” which means they are done in levels, allowing a package of classes to be purchased, and as the dog learns they progress through at their own pace. The second is how I run my groups. For puppies under the age of 6 months, this is where I normally recommend they be. Puppies benefit from having built-in distractions and the opportunity to practice their social skills. If there are major behavior issues happening with your puppy in the home, then that recommendation may change. Click here to learn more about our group training.

#2 Private Training - this training can be done in your home or at the trainer’s location. It is a good way to fast forward your training as more skills can be covered in a shorter amount of time. It also allows the trainer to focus on you and your dog’s specific needs. This is where behavior modification work should be done. If you have a puppy, I would still recommend group classes. Some trainers charge for their time only, some charge based on how many dogs you have, and/or the problem that is needing to be fixed. I personally charge for my time, regardless of dogs or the problems at hand. Click here to learn more about our private training options.

#3 Stay & Train - otherwise known as boot camp or a board and train. This is where your dog goes and stays with a trainer for X amount of time to learn all the skills they need to be a good citizen in your home. This is training that I offer, and I have trained dogs from all over the country (yes, I have had them shipped in for me to train). The big part of this is actually training the humans…yup, I said it. If the owners are not taught how to handle their dogs, the training of the dog can be a waste of time and money. This type of program is great for those with busy schedules, those that are not physically able to do the training themselves, and those that want the fastest most efficient option available. With that said, there are many behavior problems that should not be trained in a program such as this, as it is just not as effective as working one on one in your home. I will also note; some trainers offer programs that are 1 week long. Here are my two cents on that…. My program is 3 weeks, and in some cases longer and this is why… the first week I instill basic good dog manners while building a relationship with the dog, week 2 we dive into training skills that every good dog should have, week 3 we put those skills to the test. I have tried different timelines and have found that less time is just not enough to get the skills we want using positive training methods. Click here to learn more about our Stay & Train Program.

#4 Online Training - this is one that is near and dear to my heart. Over the years I have done many different online training programs with my own dogs, from agility, nose work, and even obedience. For the sole purpose that I did not have time to travel to work with these instructors OR they were out of the area and I did not have access to the level of training that I was looking for locally. For this reason, I created my Online Academy. I have this as a stand-alone option (good for those that are not local) or as an add-on for my local students. The nice thing about an online program is that you get to dive into topics that are not normally covered in the in-person training. This type of program only works for those that are willing to schedule their success, which I help you do every month in my program. If you are curious to see what it is all about, I welcome you to check out my Pawsitive Principles Online Academy here.

So there you have it! Each training option has its pros and cons. Knowing your dog and yourself can help you decide what is the best option as you move forward.

I would also encourage you to be open when talking to trainers that you are considering working with. Let them know what challenges you are having, this will allow them to best serve you and your dog.

Essential Oils Tip

There are so many options to help support your dog, and this includes in the training department. Here are a few recommendations based on the potential problem at hand, click on the link to learn more.

Focus - Intune, Thinker

Over-Excited - Balance, Serenity

Behavior modification - Vetiver, Copaiba




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