How To Choose the Best Puppy Training School

Looking for a puppy training school? Let me help you to select a dog school both you and your puppy will enjoy.

Before looking at the criteria I think are important when selecting a puppy training school, let's first look at why I think it's a good idea to attend puppy training classes...

Why You Should Attend A Puppy Training School

There are many advantages for both you and your puppy to attending puppy training classes...

  • It allows your puppy to socialize with other dogs
  • It teaches your puppy some basic obedience such as heel, sit, down, stay, come and fetch
  • It introduces your puppy to unfamiliar situations and teaches him how to deal with them
  • You get expert advice and can stop unwanted behavior before it becomes a problem
  • It builds a trusting relationship with your puppy
  • To get some exercise for both of you

If you have a choice between several dog training schools in your neighborhood, I suggest that you visit each of them before you enroll. Ask whether you may attend one of their puppy training classes as an observer. Take a look at their facilities, training classes and specifically their dog trainers.

Here's what you should give specific attention to.....

Criteria to Select a Puppy Training School

The Terrain: It's important that the training ground has ample space so that the puppies don't feel cramped. Working under confined conditions causes fear in some dogs which may lead to unnecessary aggression.

The dog school should also have a fenced in area where the puppies are allowed to run free and play. Letting your puppy play with other puppies is an important part of puppy training. Through play your puppy learns to socialize with other dogs. I feel this is one of the most important functions of a puppy training school, since a properly socialized dog will give you far fewer problems later on. Many puppies are taken away from their litter when they are only 6 weeks old and miss out learning important social skills like bite inhibition.

Also have a look at the facilities where you can tie your puppy when you're not working with him. Do they provide sufficient shade and shelter from the elements?

The Puppy Training Classes: Determine whether praise or punishment are predominantly used during the puppy training. The times when dogs were forced to be obedient by beating, kicking, shocking, suspending them from their leash or other medieval methods should be long gone. Such measures cause severe distress and can seriously damage the relationship between you and your dog. Unfortunately some dog and puppy training schools still employ such methods. Make sure that the school you choose only uses dog friendly training techniques.

Training your puppy should be fun for both of you. In the long run, positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training are far more effective to train your puppy. And your puppy actually enjoys doing what you expect of him rather than being forced to.

When you visit the puppy school take note of the size of classes. These shouldn't exceed 10 puppies. From my own experience as a dog trainer I know how difficult it is to deal with larger groups. I tend to lose track and don't have enough time for the individual.

Puppy training classes also shouldn't go on for longer than 30 minutes and should include lots of fun and play. Watch the dogs and their owners. Do you see happy puppies and relaxed dog handlers who are enjoying themselves or is everybody stressed? Be wary if training just consists of work and discipline.

The Dog Trainer: In choosing the best puppy training school, the dog trainer should be the most decisive factor. A competent dog trainer uses humane training methods and makes training fun for both dogs and handlers. Observe whether the instructor...

  • uses training practices acceptable to you
  • is approachable and encourages questions
  • is polite to dogs and handlers alike
  • makes training an enjoyable and successful experience for both of you
  • clearly explains and demonstrates each lesson
  • gives individual attention to students
  • allows sufficient opportunity for his learners to practice

Don't be afraid to ask others attending the dog training school how they feel about the puppy training classes. Find out if their expectations are being met.

Right, you're now equipped to choose the best puppy training school in your neighborhood. Go out and find it. Happy training!

Return from Puppy Training School to Home Page