Should I Take my New Puppy to Obedience Training?

Adding a new puppy to the family is a major responsibility, and it can often be difficult disciplining your furry friend. Some dog owners rely on the use of obedience training classes in an effort to teach their puppies how to behave, as well as to pick up on social skills with other dogs and people. Still, many puppy owners are hesitant about such classes because they do not think that the information being taught is worth the investment. Perhaps the best solution is to attend a few different classes on a trial basis to see if this is the best course of action for you and your new pup for avoiding injury or a lofty insurance claim.

Benefits of Classes

Obedience training is an important way for a puppy to learn his or her limitations in your own home, as well as when he or she is roaming around with you in a more unfamiliar territory. Many dog owners choose formal training through specialized classes because they receive solid tips and guidance through professional instructors. This can especially be helpful if you are a new dog owner, or if you are timid about how to approach canine discipline.

Another valuable benefit associated with obedience classes is the social interaction you gain from other dog owners. Sometimes, it is helpful to talk to others who have new puppies so you can find common ground and to exchange helpful ideas with one another. Perhaps an even better benefit is the social interaction your puppy will receive by interacting with other puppies as well as other people.

There are different types of training classes available, depending on your personal preferences. Group classes are generally the most affordable and the most appealing, due to the social interaction. There are also individual classes available if you and your puppy prefer more one-on-one training, but they are usually more expensive and less common.

Downsides to Formal Training

Despite the many benefits to obedience training, such classes might not be the best for you and your puppy. You might dislike a particular instructor's demeanor, or you might feel that you can do a much better job of training your pup on your own. More than likely you will find that students enjoy the classes for different reasons. One dog owner might need guidance from an instructor, while another participant might enjoy the training simply for the social interaction. It is ultimately up to you to decide whether or not these classes are appropriate for you and your dog.

Another common downside to formal obedience training classes is the expense. The classes are not cheap, and some schools require ongoing attendance at least once a week. If you feel that the cost of a particular class does not justify what you and your puppy are obtaining from it, you might consider dropping out.

The most appropriate way to address any reservations you have towards obedience training is to try out a few classes with your puppy. Most instructors will let potential students sit on free session to see if they like the class. If a particular school is hesitant about this idea, you might consider going somewhere else; generally any reputable teacher will be happy for you to sit in on a class in order for you and your puppy to get comfortable. After trying a few classes, you and your puppy may still not be warmed up to the idea of formal obedience training. The decision is ultimately up to you, and it is important to keep in mind that obedience training for new pets is not the best fit for everyone.

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