Click on the image ” A poem from an untrained puppy” to enlarge and read
What do you think, are puppy training classes enough?
Puppy training classes can be a great start to socializing and training your dog if run correctly but that is all they are, just a start.
Usually classes are run for four weeks and only take dogs up to 4 months of age. They cover the basics in behaviour and training but very few, cover anything in-depth.
They do not prepare the owner for the problem behaviours that often occur in the “teenage period” which usually starts around the 6-7 month mark and can continue until the dog is 15-20 months old, this time frame can vary depending on the dog.
Young dogs are quite pliable and can be easy to teach, owners often say to me “he is such a good boy/girl, does everything I tell him/her” but four weeks of puppy training is not enough to in-still basic training in a dogs mind.
Many not all, puppy schools, do not teach/tell you the owner, about the benefits of having good leadership skills, in other words, what you need to know and do, to ultimately have a well rounded dog, who is a joy to have around.
Dog owners expectations can often be set too high, they expect too much too soon and this can result in them becoming, frustrated, angry, tired, and unhappy with themselves and their dog. Sometimes they forget the reason, why they even got a dog, in the first place.
Dog training, takes commitment, consistency, repetition, time, patience (its not all smooth sailing) and a great sense of humour. There are no quick fixes, when it comes to training your dog. Its not a chore but a labour of love but that is sometimes, forgotten.
I often chat to owners who are having problems with their dog and they say “We took him/her to puppy training”. Which is great but its not enough.
Good leadership skills are the key. After all, there is more to training than just “Sit and Stay”. It can be really hard without any guidance, and while Google and helpful friends may give you some advice, that advice may or may not, be helpful.
Not all dogs are the same, and what tricks and tips, work for one dog, may not work on another.
Classes should give you a good grounding and help set you up for life. That is why its is important to continue on, with some form of obedience and enrichment.
Canine enrichment, is important because today most dogs have lost their jobs, they were born and bred to do. As well as exercise, they need to have their brains stimulated and used, which in turn can tire them out. Exercise and enrichment can help elevate boredom, reduce behaviour problems or eliminate them altogether, depending on the problem.
Other articles you may find helpful if you want a happy well rounded dog.