Obedience training is essential for your puppy to grow into a well-balanced and happy dog. As a dog owner, the main question is whether you should perform the training yourself or send them to a dog obedience school. Dog obedience training is, as the name suggests when you train your dog to be obedient. That is, to train your dog to follow commands such as sit, stay, or lie down.

This type of training is crucial in helping your pup behave around the house and fit in better with your family. It can prevent it from creating bad habits such as jumping on people and the skills gained from training can even save your dog’s life.

Taking on your dog’s training on your own can seem like a huge project to take on, it’s generally not hard to train a dog, but it requires a significant amount of your time and patience, and the training must occur consistently. That’s why dog obedience schools have surged in popularity over the past few years.

Those things in mind, below is an overview of essential information that you can use to make an informed decision on handling your dog’s training.

Understanding the types of dog obedience classes

Dog during obedience training session

After evaluating dog obedience schools, you need to choose what type of obedience classes you want for your dog. You will be able to pick between home training, one-on-one training at the school, or group classes.

With home training, the trainer will go to your home and train your dog there. These classes are generally the most expensive ones as they require the trainer to go to your house. In this type of class, you and your dog can be more focused since you’re in a well-known environment. Besides, the trainer can personalize the training to your liking by focusing only on the commands you find important.

You can also have personalized training during one-on-one training at the school, however, it can be harder to get your dog to focus at first as you are in a new environment, plus you’ll also have to be the one driving to school with your dog. In group classes, you lose the personalized training factor, but the classes are a great way for your dog to socialize. You will also get to meet other dog owners and share stories about your furry friends.

Evaluating dog obedience schools and trainers

Dog at obedience training school

You probably would not leave your four-legged child with a random stranger, right? You don’t even know how they deal with dogs. That’s why it’s important for you to get to know the dog obedience trainers at the school. Most schools are happy to help you with this.

Ask the school if they will allow you to check out one or two classes of a dog obedience trainer. You should do this before committing to training with a trainer or even signing up with the school at all. You should pick a trainer that has a training style that fits with what you believe in.

You should also see how the other dogs react to the trainer. Are they excited about the class? Do they seem to fear the trainer? Is the trainer giving friendly encouragement or shouting? Collect as much information as you can. That way you can pick a school and a dog obedience trainer that you feel comfortable with. Otherwise, it is unlikely that you will follow through with the training and that your dog won’t learn their essential skills.

The costs of dog obedience training schools and classes

The costs of dog obedience training schools and classes vary significantly depdnding on the school’s reputation, the obedience trainer’s experience, and location. CostHelper reports that one-on-one training (at home or at the school) can cost from $30 to $100 per hour. Group classes often average $10 to $15, or more per hour.

The bottom line

Training a dog is not for everyone. But if you feel that you have the time to consistently train your dog, training your dog at home can be a good option. It’s a great way to save money while developing a strong relationship with your dog.

Otherwise, go with an obedience school. That way you can see results without getting frustrated which can hurt the bond between you two. Besides, working with a certified dog obedience trainer will help your pup learn a lot faster than if you were to do it by yourself.

You can always ask your vet for help with finding a good trainer in your area that may have been recommended by other pet parents. Additionally, you can check out the American Kennel Club’s list of dog obedience schools.