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The benefits of having a dog trainer come to your home

October 12th 2016

The benefits of having a dog trainer come to your home

Dog ownership comes with the added expectation of training. What level you as an owner take it to, is your choice.

Depending on where you get your puppy or adult dog, a reputable breeder, SPCA or a rescue, the contract may have dog training or classes as a stipulation. Some contracts come with classes included or a discount on approved facilities. Sometimes it isn’t required for a variety of reasons, but I feel that dog training is not an option but rather a necessity, either in a class setting or private training. The bond that grows between you and your pet is vitally important for future success, and that bond can grow exponentially through training sessions.

If you do get a puppy, they absolutely need early socialization. Between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks is the prime time to be exposing your pup to a safe environment like a reward based training class or private training sessions. After 12 weeks the window of exposure to other people, dogs, kids, places will close and the puppy could potentially become fearful.

When you get an adult dog or have a puppy that has not done any classes, they may potentially show unwanted behaviours. Training becomes a necessity for the owner and the dog in order to continue to live together in harmony instead of becoming overwhelmed.

The benefits of hiring a private trainer are:

1. Personalized one on one sessions

A group class environment typically has 6-10 students with their dogs. If you are dealing with specific problem behaviours, the instructor will likely not be able to give you the time you may need to properly address your specific issues. I have seen a lot of clients who think that a group class is what their dog needs, but it is the exact opposite. You need to understand where the dog itself needs to start. Private sessions can help you and your dog eventually get back into a class environment. It’s better to start with an in-home trainer that will personalize a program that will cover the problems you may be having. Setting up a plan that will help to get to the root of the problem behaviour will set you and your pet up for success!

2. The environment is set up for learning

There are little or no distractions and you have the full attention of a trainer. There will be no other barking dogs or people moving around the room, no struggles to hear the instructor, no risk that your struggles or frustrations may go unnoticed. The class environment may be too stimulating for your dog to focus. If you, as an owner, are struggling and feel unsuccessful you’re likely not going to return to class possibly losing out on your registration fee and certainly not helping your dog! At some facilities only a certain amount of family is allowed and only “1” handler, in-home training involves all people in your pets’ life, ensuring consistency for the pet.

3. Learning is done at your dog’s pace

We as owners get stressed when our dogs are misbehaving and exhibiting problem behaviours in a group class. These issues usually get in the way and then we get frustrated and that can add unnecessary stress on the situation. Owners want instant results when it comes to behavioural issues and there are really no quick fixes when it comes to some problem behaviours. Giving dogs choices and letting them learn on their terms equals long term success!

4. Scheduling on your time

Life gets in the way of weekly classes. You are able to work at your own pace and involve the whole family, so everyone is on the same page and feeling engaged.

5. Problem behaviours can be dealt with one at a time

For example, leash reactivity sometimes goes beyond the walk. Just putting the leash on can be the precursor to the problem. Those little details can be spotted by having an experienced dog trainer come to you.

6. Can spot possible other behaviours

Owners may not have noticed or even be aware of other behaviours that are present or may be lurking on the horizon.

7. Getting to a class can be a problem

Not everyone drives or wants to drive to a class. An in-home trainer comes to you, eliminating transportation on your part! Not all private lessons are because of behaviour issues. A good private trainer will set up a program that covers foundations behaviours, outdoor excursions, social set ups and real life day-to-day happenings in the owner’s life.

8. Consistency of having the same trainer

This will aid in the consistency of your training. Follow up and homework with ease of contact will make pet parenting a harmonious experience for all. Having all the pet parents in the same place is also important!

When choosing a trainer, look for credentials, experiences and references. Ask what their training philosophies are. Some will say they use positive methods but no treats, this usually means that there are physical corrections done when a dog makes a mistake. Force free, reward based methods incorporate what the dog finds rewarding using many types of rewards such as food, toys, praise and petting. Trainers certified through the CPDT, KPA, PPG, IAACB adhere to a high standard of education and continuing education to remain current. They make sure that the welfare of the dogs and their owners is first and foremost on their mind at all times.


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