Do you really need them?

I mean every dog needs obedience training, but do they need the school? I just feel like I'd be paying hundreds of dollars for them to teach my dog things I could teach them, and even teach some things wrong...

I know how to maintain pack leader/rank. I know all the basic commands they need to know, including when they can bark (want to train my corgi to be a watchdog) and when they can not. Even potty training they would take him outside and I want him going to the bathroom inside always, only using outside as an exercise platform.

I don't know because I've never had a dog (I'm new to 24/7care not to the breed. I am well informed on Pems.) But I have no clue what goes on in those obedience classes and if I need them. Or if they are just an option and you can teach your dog everything on your own.

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Comment by Kylie Dennison on November 26, 2013 at 4:37pm

The them is cause I have no clue which one I'll get yet. But ya I get you. :]

Comment by Kylie Dennison on November 26, 2013 at 4:36pm

Ya I don't think I can handle two pups at once O.O I just don't have the.... skill??

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 25, 2013 at 3:44pm

Kylie, sorry about misspelling your name.  I misunderstood your use of "them" in your post.  One dog is definitely better.

Comment by Kylie Dennison on November 25, 2013 at 2:06pm

First off it's Kylie. Second I'm only getting one dog. Third I'm already going to enroll them and take care of them myself without hubby as much as I can. But thanks for the input.

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 25, 2013 at 2:00pm

Kayle, if you have two pups you need to train, it becomes more complicated as the person taking the dog also needs to have the time for daily practice. In other words, it does not work to have someone else take the second dog to class and then you do the practice work with both dogs during the week at home. How to get around it depends on a REALISTIC evaluation of your total available time. Remember you want to enjoy this process....if you don't, neither will the dog. Here are some options:

1) You have a second person in the household willing to take the dog to class and do the daily training. This person really wants to do it ( my husband, for instance, though he loves the dogs and will do things for them if needed, has no patience to train a dog )

2) You enroll the dogs in two separate classes and have time to train each one individually, outdoors, daily for 20 to 30 minutes.

3) You enroll one dog in class and then the second dog is enrolled in the same class after the first one has completed his/her first one. Same for any other more advanced class.

4) You get permission to alternate the pups going to class, one night one, one night the other one, while doing individual practice sessions at home.

Option 3 requires that you keep up socialization with the pup not being worked with. If you choose to do it this way, I would enroll the easiest pup first. You will learn more in class that way and have better skills to take the more demanding pup through the next class. It's counter intuitive as many would recommend the opposite.

Option 4 is my least favorite as I have seldom seen it work well unless the owner had a lot of experience with dogs and classes (a breeder, for instance, or long time multiple dog owner). The problem here is that the class environment is very distracting and exciting for the dog and, if you alternate dogs, they have a harder time dealing with that as it only comes around every two weeks, too long a lag time in learning to adjust to a class situation. Best of luck.

Comment by Kylie Dennison on November 25, 2013 at 12:24am

Thanks everyone that really helps! :] Especially Anna, you gave me a lot of details I needed to understand the importance, and what goes on in class. I will definitely be signing them up now! :]

Comment by Jane Christensen on November 24, 2013 at 9:01pm

Tank my rescue was in 3 homes before mine and he was a year old when we got him. He is the sweetest but needed some guidelines and someone willing to put up with his "puppyness" and teach him the right ways. We love him but there were days!

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 24, 2013 at 7:32pm

Obedience training classes are not a cop-out, they are a lot of work.  You go once a week and have to practice daily, outdoors and in different settings.  This takes time, patience and commitment.  You start with a puppy class, progress to an adult basic class and then can continue through various levels of training if you and your dog enjoy it.   The dog will learn to obey you with the distraction of other people and other dogs in close proximity, and class attendance and homework will keep you focused on the task.  The trick is to find a good class and a good instructor who uses positive methods, but does not over use food.  If you have an Obedience Training Club in your area, check it out by going to observe a class.

I would NEVER give my dog over to anyone else to train.  In class you attend with the dog and you are the one learning proper training techniques.  I taught advanced classes myself and always took my own dogs to classes as well.  You learn a lot with every animal you train, it is not just about reading books or watching a video.  Not that those things cannot be useful, they just cannot replace the experience.

What if one cannot attend a class? Well, they can still have a well behaved dog and a well adjusted one, IF they know what they're doing, but the Shelters and Rescues are full of dogs whose owners thought they knew what they were doing ad ended up giving away the dog.  Over 50% of dogs lose their home in the first year.  90% of dogs who go through obedience classes retain their home.  Untrained dogs are a dime a dozen, far more than can be properly re-homed.  Trained dogs, if they ever need re-homing, usually can be re-homed easily.

The last, but not least reason to go to classes is because a good, well run class is FUN for both owner and dog and quickly becomes your "night out" together.  Try it, you'll like it!

Comment by Jane Christensen on November 24, 2013 at 3:35pm

Great advice Marcia! I also visited the classes before going to them. I have taken all my dogs except Wynn at least twice. So many positives that outweigh not going!!!!

Comment by Marcie on November 24, 2013 at 3:06pm
I would say yes. I have owned dogs my whole life and still find it beneficial for both me and the dog. The smarter the dog and higher the drive, the more trouble they will find trying to stay busy. Dog training can be different in reality than theory. If you decide to start classes, observe first. Make sure that they use positive training methods and will fit your needs.

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