Dog Training; At Home or Training Facility?
Which is better, training at home training or at a training facility?
Either one may be right for you, but it depends on your needs and goals. Let’s first discuss the reasons people hire dog trainers.
• No time to train the dog
• Behavior issues that are out of your expertise
• Want a Board and Train option
• Have time but need help
People have busy schedules and often find that once they get a dog, they have no time to train it. That’s where a professional trainer comes in. Some people have owned many dogs over the years but then, they get this one dog that is a challenge. No matter what they try, it does not work.
A professional dog trainer has trained a lot of dogs and has probably seen everything. Generally, they should be able to help you with your challenging dog, but there are no guarantees. Professional dog trainers can’t fix poor breeding. If your dog has weak nerves, is scared, or aggressive, then these may be things that cannot be fixed. You just need to learn to manage it.
We have people that are repeat customers who want their dog trained through our board and train option. Their dog spends two weeks at our facility and they’re doing great. All that is left is some maintenance training for the owner to do.
Some people have the time to work with their dog, but they just need some guidance. They need to be shown how to do it. Let’s face it, it’s not brain surgery. Dog training consist of rewarding the wanted behavior, repetitions, consistency and persistence.
Hiring a professional to train your dog is convenient and gets fast results. Professionals have seen everything and know how to finesse a dog to Follow, Sit, Down, and Come. At Adams K-9, we work with the dog for a couple of weeks and the transformation is phenomenal! After just two weeks, the dog is following (no leash), heeling on lead, sit, down, come and placing.
We train with distractions and in public so dogs learn to ignore those distractions and have good manners in public places. The next process in the training is to work with the owners and build their confidence with their beloved fur buddy. Before long, they are a team that will enjoy each other’s company for years.
Most of our customers want –
1. A well-trained dog
2. A dog with manners
3. A dog they can confidently take out in public
4. Peace of mind
For other owners, at-home training maybe a better fit. Typically, at-home trainers consult and also train the dog and the owner. Think of it as private lessons in your home. The trick with private home lessons is that the owner has to be invested to do the work after the trainer leaves.
Dogs learn through repetition, consistency, consequences, and persistence. For example, the dog isn’t supposed to jump on people. The dog needs consistency with the “no jump” rule. Petting occurs when all four paws are on the floor. If the dog gets attention and love 30% of the time he jumps, then the dog is getting mix messages and will not learn he rules.
Dogs do not understand gray areas. For a dog, it’s all black and white. They understand rules. It’s either okay to jump on people or it isn’t.
Consistency and persistence is important with the whole family when training a dog. If you do not have the time to train your dog, then at-home training isn’t right for you. Don’t waste your money.
Speaking from the point of view of the trainer, it can be very frustrating when a client returns for the second lesson only to hear, “I was too busy and didn’t have time to practice.” Lessons build on one another other. Unless you have your homework finished and the dog knows it, you cannot progress to the next level.
How much time does it take? Ideally, a client would want to do two short sessions (10-20 minutes) per day. However, training is ongoing. Throughout the day, you will have training moments appear when the dog jumps, barks, steals food, gets in the garbage, and so on. Training continues throughout the life of the dog.
My dog is 9 years old and I still do training sessions with her. It’s like speaking a foreign language. If you don’t use it, you are going to lose it.
Some people think their dog has aggression issues at home, so at-home training is best. I am not of that belief. Sure, it happens in the home. But, there are a whole lot of variables going on when it comes to aggression and in my opinion, your dog needs a couple of weeks with a professional trainer (board and train) to get things under control.
With aggression issues, we also do not make any guarantees. Sometimes we have successes, and sometimes – not so much. Most of the time, it comes down to the family composition and whether they follow our instructions in managing their dog. We can train the dog, but the variables in the home are out of our trainer’s control.
For example, if an owner constantly pets and touches their dog, the owner’s behavior needs to change if that dog has aggression issues. If not, the aggression will continue.
At home training is great if you have time to do your homework (train) and have a dog with certain behavior or obedience issues. Jumping, food stealing, barking, and play biting can all be addressed in the home. At-home training can cover Walk on a Loose Leash, Come, Sit, Down, Place, and Stay. Once you decide on the program that’s best for you and your dog, it’s time to find a trainer.
Search the Internet for “at home training” or “dog trainers near me.” Read Google and Facebook reviews. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a trainer, or if you see a really well behaved dog, ask the owner who trained their dog.
I would be hesitant paying a fee for a consultation or evaluation. At Adams K-9 we offer free evaluations and Simply Pawsitive K-9 Training. We also offer free 15-minute phone consultations.
If a trainer is pushy or just rubs you the wrong way don’t hire them. There is a trainer in our area that is demeaning and people still hire him. He charges a lot of money and the owner is not satisfied with the training. I know this because they come to Adams K-9 for additional training. I’ve been told they hired the guy even though he bullied them and was overly persistent.
I feel bad for people who get taken advantage of. Find a trainer you are comfortable with and has good reviews is my best advice.
Hiring a professional dog trainer allows you to enjoy your dog with a lot less stress.
If you want to love your dog and love your dog’s behavior, call Adams K9 today for a free consultation.
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