Get Help for Your Dog!
I reluctantly write this article, because I AM a dog trainer and my achievements rely on my proficiency as one! But the truth is sometimes you need a dog trainer, and sometimes you don’t!
Sometimes all you need is some online help like our dog training system, some good articles, like you can find in our dog training blog and the willingness to exert some effort and you can do most basic behaviors with your dog on your own!
How Do You Know When You Need Help?
You have an aggressive dog
Dogs with aggression problems probably need the help of a professional, if not to do a lot of the work, but to oversee the progression of your dog and put him on the right behavior modification path. And, veterinary behaviorist can even prescribe appropriate medication for dogs with aggression issues.
You Don’t Have the Equipment
We don’t all have agility equipment in our backyards so if you are looking for advanced training or specialized training you may have to find someone with the right equipment.
We All Need a Little Help Sometimes
We all need help (including us dog trainers) when a problem arises or we can’t figure out how to overcome something in our training. Sometimes a different set of eyes is all it takes to figure out what is going wrong.
There is nothing to be ashamed of in needing a helping hand from someone else!
We Want a Support Group
My favorite thing about training with someone else or in group classes is the camaraderie and the ability to learn from other peoples mistakes.
I still sneak into a casual group class every now and again to train with my dogs, and I keep the fact that I am a dog trainer secret so that I can just enjoy the class dynamics.
It is also a great opportunity to train with a random group of dogs. If you want to proof your obedience, take a group class and see how your dog does in that environment.
Whenever I have a dog that needs socialization, either human or dog/dog I recommend a group dog training class because it is such a great structured environment to practice in and socialize!
How to Take the Reins of Your Dog Training
Practice, practice, practice!
If you put your mind to it and work your dog 3 to 5 times a day even if it is just 5 or 10 minutes a day, you would be amazed at what you can accomplish!
Dog training does not require a club membership, or a fancy class; it just requires lots of time and patience and commitment.
5 minutes once a week is not enough. A one hour class once a week is usually not enough. As dog trainers we use to giggle. You could tell which dog/owners worked at home during the week and which ones only came to class once a week and did basically nothing at home.
Although anything is better than nothing, daily work is fun and effective!
Dogs learn at home in a quiet and familiar environment, people usually are the ones doing the learning in classes!
It is okay to start small, work on teaching your dog to sit and down, then giving you attention and eye contact, heeling and finding heel position. Once you have completed the basics you can start adding more advanced moves like the down on recall and in motion exercises.
I always train my dogs on my own before I enter a class environment. This previous training allows us to concentrate more on working with other dogs, people and distractions and sets us up for more success. I don’t have to worry about my dog “learning” something new, I just have to proof her behavior with the distractions of other dogs.
If you put in the time and effort you can teach your dog to do just about anything!! It just requires some commitment!
Read and search my articles using the search box to the left and you too will be able to teach your dog a multitude of obedience behaviors.
And, your opinion counts; what basic behaviors or advanced obedience commands would you like me to write about so that you can achieve a higher level of obedience?
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.