Does Your Dog Need to go to Obedience School?
While we all certainly know that our dogs are our best friends, training a dog can be downright hard and sometimes overwhelming. What many pet owners don’t realize is that training a dog take three things, patience, consistency, and diligence. While almost every pet owner wants the best for their pets, it’s hard to find the time or the patience to stay on top of them all of the time, so that they are trained the way you want them to be. That’s why many pet parents choose to enroll their furry friends in obedience school, to ensure that the time is taken to train them to obey, the right way.
Of course, as with anything else in life today, the idea of obedience school for dogs has brought out the scoffers and it’s a huge topic of debate as to whether it is a good idea to spend that amount of money on training a pooch. There are pros and cons to obedience schools, as with everything else and we will go into them in today’s blog.
In this blog, we will cover the signs that your pup might just need to go to obedience school, the pros and cons of doing so, whether you should send your dog to the school or have someone come to your home to train them, and even a few myths about dog obedience schools that need a little debunking.
So, grab your leash, keep your pup at your side, and follow us as we delve into our blog on obedience school, what it is, and if your dog can truly benefit from it as well. Ready? Then, let’s get started.
Top Signs that Your Dog Needs to go to Obedience School
Anyone who has ever had to apologize for their unruly misbehaved dog has been embarrassed and wondered what they can do to tame the barking and sometimes biting that comes with a socially inept animal. Many people already no the signs of a dog that just won’t behave, but if you don’t, read on below for a few of the signs that you need to send your dog to obedience school as soon as possible before his bad habits truly set in.
He is Aggressive
While this might seem to be a no-brainer, you would be surprised at how many pet owners miss this sign. An aggressive dog can be dangerous, no matter what size he is. The signs to watch for aggressive behavior include food aggression, especially with children, and trying to attack or growl at people when they walk by him. If your dog has these signs of aggression, he needs to be trained, before he actually bites or attacks someone.
He Barks at Everything
Many pet parents don’t feel that barking is a behavioral issue, but experts say that it is one of the signs of needing obedience training. If your dog barks at or lunges at other dogs, animals or people, then obedience school might just be the ticket to getting him on the right track.
He Chases his Tail
This is one of the signs of behavior problems that have some pet parents scoffing at the idea of obedience school for dogs. How can a dog chasing his tail be a behavior problem? It’s cute, but not bad behavior. The experts, however, say that this is a sign of a pent-up problem with the pet that needs to be addressed and is a sign that the dog is understimulated and bored.
He Jumps on Everyone
While your friends and family may smile slightly and say it’s okay, no one is truly okay with being jumped on by a dog, every time they enter your home. If your dog can’t greet anyone without jumping up and putting his paws on them, then he needs to be trained, so he knows this isn’t the right thing to do.
He Ignores Your Commands
If you have often wondered how many dogs actually follow their owner’s commands and come when they are called, look at any dog that has passed obedience training. There are a few commands that your dog should respond to when you say them. A few of them are listed below.
- Watch me
- Lie down
- Leave it
- Drop it
Pulling on his Leash
Experts consider it a behavioral warning sign when they see pets pulling their owners through the dog park by the dog’s leash. While you might think it’s all a part of the fun and a great way for both of you to get exercise, the experts don’t see it that way. Instead, they say if your dog exhibits this trait, he is badly misbehaved and needs to be enrolled in obedience school right away.
While this is not considered to be bad behavior on the dog’s part, it is said that a pup that suffers from separation anxiety can benefit from going to obedience school to help them overcome the issue.
These are a few of the signs that your dog needs to be enrolled in some type of obedience training. Now, we will move into the pros and cons of obedience training and even the pros and cons of trying to do that training at home.
Pros and Cons of Obedience Training in Schools and at Home
There are quite a few reasons that people choose to send their dogs to obedience school and just as many reasons that they decide to keep their dogs at home to train. Below, we will go into the pros and cons of both.
Obedience School Pros and Cons
- Obedience school can be a learning experience for not only your dog but you as well
- Obedience school gives your dog practice with socializing with other dogs in social settings
- It makes it possible for you to find a support system that will help you with any of your dog’s behavior problems
- You and your dog may make a ton of new friends
- For some dogs, obedience school can be a difficult environment to learn and concentrate in
- Obedience school isn’t cheap and isn’t always affordable for everyone’s budget
- It’s possible that your pup will feel the tension from other dogs and there is always the possibility of a fight between dogs breaking out
Pros and Cons of Obedience Training at Home
- The schedule is much more flexible when you train at home, allowing you to train when it is best for you
- At home, training is designed to fit your tailored needs, instead of the needs of a group
- It allows you to move at your own pace, perfecting each command before moving onto the next
- At home, your pooch doesn’t get a chance to meet and socialize with other dogs
- At home, your pup doesn’t learn to listen to you in situations where you are outside and you need to command him to do something. Distraction is one of the number one reasons that dogs don’t listen to their owners
- You and your pup will miss out on making new friends and the shared learning experience that comes with attending obedience classes
These are just a few of the pros and cons of both of these methods of training your pup to behave the right way. Do your research, weigh the pros and cons carefully, and choose the one that best fits the needs of you and the furry friend you love.
Now that we have the pros and cons of each of these methods out of the way, let’s move into our section on how to find the best obedience school to train your pup to behave.
Tips for Finding the Very Best Obedience School
The last thing you want is for your dog to graduate from obedience school, only to find that he’s worse than he was before. That is why it’s so important to do your research and find the best, well-respected, and most reputable school out there. Besides, you don’t want just anyone training your dog, do you? Read on below for a few tips to help you find the very best obedience school in your area.
Do Your Research Carefully
You don’t want to choose the first dog obedience center you run across in the Yellow Pages of the phone book. You want to do careful research into each one you are considering to ensure they are indeed as good as they say they are. The best way to find the right one for you is through word of mouth. Even in today’s world where everything is done on the internet, word of mouth is still the best way to find anything. Talk to your friends, neighbors, family, and even your coworkers to determine who they have used, if they put a dog in obedience school, and then go from there.
Always Read the Reviews and Check References
Never go with an obedience school on blind faith. You will want to go online and look at the reviews on the school’s website, but don’t stop there, as some of those can be biased. Instead, go to popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to see what reviews have been posted about the school as well. Take those reviews into consideration when making your final decision.
Inspect the School Beforehand
There are a few things that you will want to do beforehand when choosing the right school for your beloved canine pal. You will want to ask for a tour of the school and the ability to see the trainers in action. Things to look for when touring the school are listed below.
- Look to see how clean the school is, in the front and in the training center
- See how the staff interacts with the dogs before, during, and after training
- Look to see if there wagging tails and happy smiles on the faces of the dogs and owners who are there
- Make sure to ask beforehand if the school offers positive reinforcement training, which experts agree is the best method of training
These are just a few of the things that you need to do and the tips you should follow when searching for the right obedience school for your dog. Now, we will move into a few of the myths about obedience training that need a little bit of dispelling.
Myths About Obedience Schools Dispelled
There are quite a few myths out there when it comes to dog obedience schools that need to be dispelled. Here are a couple of them.
Myth: All You Need is Practice and Hard Work to Train a Dog
This isn’t exactly true. It’s important to note that in every situation, there is positive and a negative route to take. If you take the wrong route with training your dog, then you are going to do more harm than good. Taking your dog to school instead ensures that the dog will be taken down the right road to good behavior.
Myth: Most Stubborn Dogs Are Just Plain Stupid
Again, not true. In fact, most of the most stubborn dogs with bad behavior are actually very smart and just bored, which is where their behavior problems are coming from, to begin with. Besides, no dog is stupid, they just need to be taught.
This concludes our blog on whether your dog needs to go to obedience school for his behavior problems. No matter which side of the fence you fall on, on this debate, remember, no dog is stupid and it is possible for them to be trained. Happy training, everyone.
- Lucy’s Pet Care: The Pros and Cons of Dog Obedience Training
- Dog Training: Busting the 10 Biggest Dog Training Myths
- WebMD: Does Your Dog Need Obedience School?