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Are Puppy Training Classes Worth It?

Cane Bay Summerville - puppy training classesAre puppy training classes worth it? If you recently got a puppy, you may have asked yourself this exact question. A plethora of opinions exist, as well as a myriad of groups that agree and disagree.

While some people believe puppy training classes are just a gimmick and training can be done at home, others boast of the socialization skills that are acquired, as well as important commands and good pet-owner communication skills that are developed.

Before delving into the pros and cons, it’s first important to understand what a puppy training class consists of.

What Happens at Puppy Training Classes?

Usually, puppy training classes are held at local pet stores, such as PetSmart, a training facility or a veterinary office. Classes should be led by an experienced dog trainer. Typically, your pet will be in a class with multiple other dogs and owners, and the group will meet once a week for roughly four to eight weeks.

It also helps, of course, if the trainer is patient with both you and your pet, answering all questions you may have and being available as needed. Don’t forget – most classes will cost a fee. The price range varies from class to class, so it’s best to shop around and find what you’re looking for at the price you want.

What Benefits Do Puppy Training Classes Offer?

Socialization Skills

Most owners first and foremost agree that socialization is one of the top benefits of attending class. Puppies who don’t get much interaction with other canines or humans may grow up to be fearful and/or aggressive. The sooner your pup can start socializing, the better.

Furthermore, the socialization all happens in a safe, well-ordered environment, so if things go awry, an experienced dog trainer is present to help.

Obedience Training

What’s the plus side of obedience training? Your dog will learn important commands such as Sit, Stay, Wait, Leave It, Off, Come and so on. These commands are essential when you drop a pill or a piece of chocolate and need your dog to “Leave it” so you can get to it before he does.

“Stay” or “Wait” are also necessary when you’re out walking and approach a street. Instead of Scooby running into the road with oncoming traffic because he sees a squirrel, you can use “Wait” to keep him from danger.

Behavioral Problems

Oftentimes, puppies are energetic, full of life and love to greet you by jumping up and planting wet, slobbery kisses on your face. While affection is a good thing, most owners want to nip this behavior in the bud so Scooby isn’t scaring off new friends.

Learning how to handle this situation, as well as other behavioral concerns you may have, are frequently addressed in puppy training classes. This is especially where commands such as “Off” come into play and aid your canine’s learning.

Good Pet-Owner Communication

Dogs and humans are vastly different, and sometimes, understanding where your dog is coming from or how to train your furry friend in the very beginning can feel challenging. Experienced dog trainers are here to lend a helping hand and train both you and your pet to work together, understand your dog’s behavior and learn to communicate in a way where you each understand each other.

The Importance of Practice

Overall, puppy training classes have plenty of benefits for both owners and pets, but nothing will stick if you don’t practice at home.

“If you don’t execute the tools when you get home and practice, the puppy class was useless,” said Lisa Campbell, a long-time dog owner who just finished a puppy training class with her 5 month old Golden Doodle. “Practice what you learn every day. Even if it’s five minutes here and two minutes there, you practice. Any opportunity you get, you practice, and (use) lots of treats,” she said.

Thanks for stopping by; we’re glad you’re here! We’d love to hear from you. Have you ever taken your puppy to puppy training classes? What was your experience like?

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