Dog Obedience Schools

Dog obedience schools offer training classes for all ages and abilities and enrolling your pup in a class has all sorts of benefits for both of you.

Puppy training is a hugely important part of puppy care, and practicing basic obedience commands and proper manners/behavior at home is absolutely essential.

But I'd always recommend enrolling your pup in at least one course of basic obedience classes because there are just so many benefits to both of you.

A qualified, professional dog trainer can help you and your pet communicate better and working together will make the bond between you and your pup even stronger.

Plus, you can't beat 'hands-on' help for overcoming problem behaviors, unexpected reactions or just generally disobedient or bratty behavior (and yes, pretty much all pups will behave this way at some point especially when they become adolescents!).

The socialization experience of being around other dogs and people is important for your puppy, and meeting other puppy owners and sharing worries/stories/triumphs is good for you too :)

Which School? Which Class? Which Trainer?

A good Dog Obedience Training School will offer a variety of training classes led by certified dog trainers.

Most urban areas have several different schools to choose from and even rural towns usually have at least one within comfortable driving distance.

Depending on where you live, you should be able to find everything from Puppy Kindergarten and Basic Dog Obedience Training, all the way through to Advanced (competitive obedience) Level Classes.

There are several ways you can learn about the best dog obedience training schools in your area:

  • Ask your veterinarian if they have any recommendations

  • Ask other dog owners you know, what dog obedience training school their furbaby attended. Find out what they liked and disliked about the school, and make sure that it employed certified dog trainers.

  • Your local petstore (such as Petsmart), may hold Puppy Training Classes. These are acceptable for kindergarten/puppy level classes, but for more advanced levels and training look for established dog obedience schools, with a good reputation. Petstore classes don't always employ professional dog trainers, so check that out before making a decision.

  • Use a local directory or the Yellow Pages to find dog obedience schools close to you.

Whichever method you use to track down the schools in your area, don't make any decisions until you've checked them out personally.

Pay a visit to the dog obedience training school at the top of your short-list. Ask to 'sit in' on a puppy class, so that you can get a feel fro the overall tone of the class.

You're looking for:

  • The use of positive reinforcement training methods.

  • A friendly, open atmosphere.

  • A clean, sanitary environment.

  • Good communication between the dog training instructor and the puppies/owners.

  • Classes that are not overcrowded, and where there's room for the pups and their handlers to move about.

  • Preferably classes that are led by certified dog trainers, or at least by professional individuals who have considerable experience as dog trainers, and are familiar with canine behavior.

  • Dog obedience schools whose instructors take the time to talk/work with each individual pup/owner when necessary.

If you feel that a particular dog obedience training school, or class, isn't for you, go onto the next one on your list.

When you're looking at dog obedience schools, don't forget how important this early formal education is, you definitely want to start out on the right food (or paw!).

If Puppy Class/Puppy Kindergarten is a positive experience for both of you, it sets the stage for a lifetime of learning, good manners and sociable behavior.

Of course this applies more to Fido than it does to you, but might have been a while since you were in school so who knows :)

Dog obedience establishments are NOT all the same, so take your time checking them out, it will be worth the time and effort.

Obedience classes are usually about one hour long, and take place once a week. Puppies have very short attention spans, and learn best through regular repetition, so you'll need to be working with little Fido at home, for several short training sessions, every day.

There are some great books that can supplement the basic dog obedience training lessons that you learn at school. These can help you 'get it right' at home, and can be used as a 'primer' at home, before your puppy even gets to his first Puppy Kindergarten class.

Here are some of my favorites:


Most puppy classes accept puppies who are 10 weeks of age or older and want proof of vaccinations.

This is to protect all the pups/dogs who attend because most serious dog illnesses are highly contagious.

Related Pages......

How & why clicker training works

› About Dog Obedience Schools

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