Looking for the right trainer is hard work. In an industry full of creative and dedicated professionals, it is no wonder that there is such a wide variety of techniques and philosophies employed by dog trainers of different backgrounds. Just like personal trainers for humans, every dog trainer will analyze and approach the situation differently.
However, one of the most important distinctions between trainers has nothing to do with the tools and techniques they use. Environment can be just as important. Group dog training offers several important advantages over one-on-one dog training sessions and this guide will help you decide if your pup is ready to get more social while training.
When to Choose Group Training
If possible (and we will explain when this is not possible later) it is always good to enroll a dog into group classes as soon you can. Group classes are great for socialization – your pet will quickly learn how to deal with dogs and people that he doesn’t know. Many trainers do have a minimum age requirement, but young puppies can benefit from social programs as well.
Group training also helps your dog focus despite numerous distractions. Group classes are often a little noisy, filled with interesting sights and smells, and a dog that learns to focus throughout a group class will be able to use those skills near a busy roadway, or at a crowded park. A strong attention span is not just a matter of obedience, but also a matter of safety for your pet.
Does your canine need some preparation before group classes become a realistic option? Are there some problems that are easier to solve with individualized attention? The following section will have your answers.
When to Choose One-on-One Sessions
The most common problems that stand in the way of a canine’s successful enrollment include unreliable potty habits, excessive and unrelenting shyness, or aggression toward strangers or other dogs. Canines that are prone to bolting off the leash may also need individualized instruction before joining the group environment.
These problems warrant individualized at-home training, but in many cases only a few sessions are necessary. Some trainers even opt for individualized at-home sessions due to the increased scheduling flexibility or sheer convenience. Every dog is different and has unique training needs.
For simpler matter, you might be able to prepare your dog for group training on your own. One great example is a company that provides certified dog training in Washington DC but offers over-the-phone consultation for potty training in addition, perhaps followed by in-home services, and finally group training once your pup is ready. It’s always better to go with that type of “full service” trainer so that your dog can continue to work with a trainer he or she knows and trusts.
Is your dog a socialite, ready to blend into a group setting? Is your dog a strong individual that needs individualized attention? We hope you have a clearer picture of the direction to go with your unique pup –attention to detail will pay off in every area of training.