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the Dog Blog

How to Choose the Right Obedience School for Your Dog

Dogs at a dog obedience school training class learning new behaviors.

School isn’t just for humans—it’s for puppies and dogs, too. Instead of learning reading and writing, obedience school can teach your best friend how to be on his best behavior while keeping his mind active and attentive. Perhaps your puppy needs to learn basic behaviors or maybe your dog needs some additional training classes for a few bad habits. Here’s how to find the right training classes for your pooch.


Find Obedience Schools

Sometimes, the best way to discover a dog training class near your home is by asking around. Talk to your veterinarian, animal hospital, pet store, groomer, and fellow pet parents about where they have gone in the past. Some pet stores, like PetSmart, offer dog training classes as well.


Research Dog Trainers

Great dog trainers, like celebrity animal trainer Joel Silverman, not only understand dog behavior but are also helpful with teaching and motivating pet parents. As you do your homework, check to see that the dog trainers at the obedience schools you are considering have the proper certifications and experience. Certifications from organizations, such as The Association of Professional Dog Trainers, The Academy for Dog Trainers, or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, can be a huge plus, as they hold trainers accountable to certain standards and keep them up-to-date with the latest training concepts.


Group or Solo Classes

Group classes are a wonderful way to socialize your dog and meet other pet parents. However, they aren’t always the right fit for every dog or pet parent. If your furry friend gets distracted easily or doesn’t get along well with other dogs, you may want to work one-on-one with a trainer instead. Be sure to talk to your vet about any behavioral issues.


Basic Training or Advanced Tricks

Training classes typically break down into a few levels depending on where your dog is at in his training. Different behaviors are taught at different levels, so you’ll need to determine exactly what you want your pooch to gain from obedience school.

You may just want him to learn the basics, such as sit, stay, and lie down or how to behave better around guests. Or, you might want your dog to learn more advanced tricks like how to shake your hand or roll over. Knowing what you want your pup to get out of obedience school will help you weed out the classes that don’t quite align with you and your fur baby. Just remember: dog treats like Bil-Jac Treats keeps training interesting!


Preview Training Classes

Pet parents should watch a training class before signing up. Many obedience schools and dog trainers allow pet parents to watch from the sidelines to get a feel for whether the class is right for them and their best friend. This gives you the opportunity to see how classes are run, check the class size, ask questions, check out the facility, and observe the teaching style and techniques to make sure you’re comfortable with the trainer and their teaching methods.


Practice at Home

Once you select the right obedience school, remember to practice the same training techniques back at home. This will provide the consistency your pooch needs to learn new behaviors quickly and will strengthen your relationship.


Keep Your Four-legged Family Members Happy

We all know the feeling of excitement and satisfaction when we teach our dogs a new trick. Well-trained, well-behaved dogs make for a happy dog family. Want more ways to keep your best friend happy and healthy? Join our Best Friends Club today. Each month you’ll receive fun training tips, information to care for your fur friends and discounts on Bil-Jac products!

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