Five Benefits of Group Dog Training Classes
Dogs, dogs, everywhere dogs! Group dog training classes can be exciting, educational, and social. Here at Faithfully Yours Dog Training, LLC, our best known service is our private training. I found that some dog owners are better suited for group classes however. We have therapy and service dogs that need interaction with strangers, distractions, and other dogs as daily parts of their training. We have puppies that needed to be socialized to dogs, noises, and new surroundings. Most people do not realize the benefits of rolling out of bed to make it to a group class, especially those with the dogs that really need it.
While you should never take a scared or aggressive dog into a group class to be “socialized” and private in-home sessions are more suitable for those situations, dogs are typically social characters and benefit from interaction with other animals. While private and group classes each have their own benefits, I want to talk about group classes today.
Follow along below to find out how your dog can benefit from group dog training classes!
1. Group classes are social events for you and your dog.
Living in Mississippi, our area isn’t very dog friendly. We have few dog parks or dog friendly locations, most apartment complexes have a list of banned breeds a mile long, and if you are renting a house, forget about having pets. Group classes are your chance to meet like-minded people with dogs in a safe situation.
A good trainer will watch for warning signs of possible dog fights and do their best to keep every dog in class safe. Most dogs are even screened beforehand and some trainers do not allow dogs to greet in class, so your dog is around other dogs, but not greeting them nose-to-nose.
2. Your dog learns to work around distractions.
Every dog needs to be able to follow through with cues around distractions. If your dog is already an obedience whiz at home, but losing his mind when you bring him outside, group classes were made for you. Dogs did not generalize very well and that means they need to be taught how to react in each situation.
. I am sure many people have seen dogs that will sit at the front door, but not the back door. The dog may come when called inside, but outside? Forget about it. Part of this problem is they do not generalize well and the other part is your dog is not ready to advance to that level of distraction. Outside is distracting for dogs due to the smells, noises, and excitement of the outside world. The more we bring them out into this outside world to practice their training, the better. Group classes are full of controlled distractions that you can practice around.
3. You learn how to resolve issues not related to your dog.
Let’s say you join a group classes to resolve your dog’s boredom problem. Your trainer says he needs mental stimulation and obedience training to resolve his chewing problem at home. You just happen to see the trainer also resolve a barking issue another dog in class has. A few months later your dog starts barking and now you have a barking problem. You remember how the trainer fixed that dog’s issue in class, you give it a try, and it works!
Being around people who are troubleshooting different issues can help you learn for the future. Even though those issues seem unrelated, listen up because they may become your problem later on down the road.
4. Your dog works for you.
In group classes, you are in control of your dog’s training the entire time. The trainer may use him as a demo dog at some point, but for the most part, you are training your dog yourself. This means the dog never “just listens to the trainer”. Your dog will be able to complete cues for you right away and there is no transfer time or extra lessons you have to go through after someone else has trained your dog for you.
5. Group classes make better puppies.
If your dog is a young puppy, you may still have a window of time to socialize your puppy in class while they are little learning sponges. The younger the dog, the more impressionable they are. When dogs are puppies, one good interaction can add that object, person, or dog, to the puppy’s “I like this!” list for life. This is a powerful piece of information, but the door swings both ways. This is why you will want a good trainer by your side to help you make smart choices on what to expose your puppy to and how you should do it.
Faithfully Yours Dog Training, LLC now offers group classes in Brandon, MS at local parks every Sunday morning at 11:30am. Each class is an hour long and we play games, work on obedience, and even throw in extras like beginner agility training, AKC canine good citizen test materials, and other competing sport training for dog owners to test drive. If you would like to attend a class, call us at 769-251-4104 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org