There are so many dog obedience schools and training centres that its often difficult to know what to look for in choosing one.
It is essential to decide what you want to achieve out of attending dog obedience training and it’s a good start to ask yourself the following questions:
1. Would you prefer one to one training, or group lessons?
One to one training is significantly more expensive than group lessons, so you should consider the budget that you have set for the training.
2. What is the aim of attending dog obedience training?
Is it for puppy socialisation?
Is it simply general training; walking to heel, sitting etc?
Do you intend to compete in obedience trials?
Are you interested in any specialist disciplines; i.e trick training, Heelwork to Music, agility?
3. What type of atmosphere would you like?
Would you like to join a proper “Dog club”, with all of its associated social activities and competitions? Or are you just looking for somewhere to train your dog once a week?
Once you have a good idea in your mind of what you are looking for, then you’re ready to start contacting relevant dog obedience schools and finding out whether they meet what you’re looking for.
It’s a good idea to visit the dog obedience schools, attend a lesson (without your dog), and talk to the trainers. You should trust your instincts when deciding whether you think you and your dog will fit into the training classes and enjoy working with the trainers.
A serious consideration in your decision should be the methods of training used by the dog obedience schools; you should look for trainers who believe in kind, positive methods of training. Dog trainers who encourage the use of choke chains or any kind of rough handling, should be avoided at all costs.
There are professional associations, regulating some dog obedience schools, so you may prefer to choose a dog obedience class that is regulated by one of these associations. But do remember that there are lots of good obedience schools that may not be registered with the associations.