Welcoming a new puppy into your home is the start of an exciting adventure, but most pet owners will agree it can come with its challenges. Your household will have to decide who is responsible for feeding, walking and cleaning up after your new pooch, as well as enrolling them in puppy school training.
If this is your first time training a dog, there are some not-so-obvious things you’ll need to know. So, we have put together everything you need to know about obedience training, as well as some top tips for making the most of your local puppy school.
The Most Frequently Asked Puppy School & Training Questions
Why is puppy school important?
Your puppy is not the only one who benefits from obedience training, as you’ll find your role as a pet owner becomes easier too. Training your pet provides them with mental stimulation and positive social interactions. A well-behaved dog can also fit in easier with your family’s lifestyle and make owning a pet less stressful, as you will not have to worry about them getting into mischief. Training your dog can also help strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Your puppy is constantly learning, so it is important to begin training as early as possible to help reinforce good behaviours and not allow bad habits to form. According to the RSPCA, this is also a key time in your puppy’s life to learn positive social behaviours around other dogs and humans.
“Puppies have a ‘critical socialisation period’ from about 3-17 weeks of age.”RSPCA
When is the best time to start training a dog?
It’s important to start training your puppy as early as possible. Most puppy schools will accept enrollments of puppies between 8 and 16 weeks old, although they will usually require all vaccinations to be completed first and become effective.
What will my puppy learn in training classes?
A good puppy school will teach your pet basic commands and skills. These include commands such as sit, stay and come. A puppy will also be introduced to leash training during these courses. Some classes will offer advice beyond dog training, such as proper pet nutrition and bonding techniques. Expect to be required to attend weekly classes for several weeks.
Is it too late to teach an old dog new tricks?
If your dog is older, don’t fret. Many schools will offer courses for dogs of all ages, even the elderly. These classes may be structured differently to ensure older dogs are given the attention and training they need.
Most obedience schools will also offer more advanced classes for dogs who have the basics down pat. These can help build on basic commands and skills already learnt as well as teach them more advanced skills such as retrieval and off leash work. Agility courses can also help add to your dog’s repertoire of tricks.
What happens if my dog fails puppy school?
Your dog will generally be allowed to attend classes again if they do not succeed their first time. Pet owners may not be aware that they have a bigger influence on the outcome of dog training than they think. Make sure you understand why your puppy is struggling during training and help fix these problems. Below are some common challenges pet owners face when training and tips you can use to overcome them.
Top Tips for Getting the Best Results When Training a Puppy or Dog
Ensure you practice training techniques daily
One of the most important parts of dog training is consistency and repetition. As a pet owner, make the commitment to continue training at home. Train and reward your dog consistently to help breed good habits. Ask your puppy school instructor to provide you with a run-down of training commands to use at home.
Establish who will be your household’s pack leader
You should decide who in your household will take your dog to training classes and continue training them at home. Most puppy schools will ask you to choose just one person to be the main trainer of your dog so the dog can remain focused and not be over stimulated. Professional trainers will suggest the household member who will play the most dominant role in the dog’s life to commit to training the dog—or if you will, be the pack leader. Do not be afraid to ask questions to help learn proper training techniques to continue training at home.
Remove all distractions while training your dog
Keep distractions to a minimum by removing things such as toys and other members of the household from the area when training so your dog can focus. Loud noises, interesting toys or over-stimulation can interfere with your dog learning commands and responding as expected.
Manage your puppy’s energy before a training session
Taking your puppy for a walk in the morning can help get rid of excess energy and keep your dog calm and more focused during training. Don’t forget to take breaks if your puppy needs one.
Searching for a puppy training class?
When looking for a puppy school, ensure to use a reputable business with experienced instructors. A good instructor should have a well-structured class and reinforce good behaviours in your pet. They should also keep the number of puppies per class to a minimum to avoid distractions and allow themselves to provide attention to each puppy.
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