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37 - Find an appropriate training class

37 - Find an appropriate training class

Some owners are reluctant to attend training classes because they have an ingrained image of an uptight (usually middle-aged), control-freak of a trainer who barks out orders and whose favourite words are ‘Don’t’, ‘Never’ and ‘No’.

Fortunately things have progressed in the training world. There are now more choices for people who want to work with their dogs in forward-thinking, positive ways, and the divide between those who train their dogs for competitive purposes and those that just want a family friend who comes when he is called is becoming narrower. Training classes are a great way to socialize and train your dog in a controlled environment and give you the opportunity to meet other owners with dogs of a similar age. Do your research before you sign up for the classes and ask if you can sit in and observe a training session before you attend with your dog. If the trainer will not let you check out the classes, find another one. Watch and listen to everything that is going on in the class. Are the owners being encouraged and engaged and talked to? Or are they being talked at and made to feel stupid? Does everyone (including the dogs) look happy? Is the trainer clear in what he/she says and does? Is everything under control or is it total chaos? Talk to other owners once the class is finished. Finally, before deciding to attend, go with your gut feeling. In short, avoid large crowded classes and those where there is a lot of noise and/or shouting. Stay well away from anyone who pushes and pulls the dogs into position, squirts water at the dog, and uses sound aversion, choke chains, prong collars and other negative techniques.

Positive training techniques develop trust

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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