Types of Dog Training Programs: The Best (and Worst)

In this day and age, you have a myriad options for training your dog available to you. In fact, the difficulty is more often deciding which approach will be the most effective in training your particular dog (and the method that will mesh the best with your particular situation). Now that you’ve decided that you’re going to put the effort into training your dog and that the effort is worth the results you know you’ll get, it is time to decide what kind of training program you will use.

Private Training

This type of training involves paying an hourly rate for one-on-one with a professional dog trainer at some sort of training facility (or perhaps in your home for a higher price rate). This can be an extremely effective method of training your dog. Because you are there with your dog, you are shown exactly what movements and actions to take and your dog benefits from a professional hand.

However, this training is easily the most expensive, because professional trainers often charge 20, 40, or even up to 100 dollars an hour for their expertise. In addition, if you don’t find a trainer who is knowledgeable enough to deal with all of your dog’s tendencies or if you simply don’t “click” with your trainer, your time and money can easily slip down the drain with very little observable results. Also, working extensively with another trainer has the potential to confuse your dog as to who he/she should actually respond to. When this happens, sometimes dogs who behave very well around the professional trainer act poorly at home when you are in charge.

Group Lessons

Group dog training sessions are when multiple dog owners and their dogs work with a teacher, usually a professional or semi-professional dog trainer, for a certain number of class periods. These lessons can also be called clinics or obedience classes. Group lessons are more affordable than private lessons and can also help socialize your dog because you’re around many other animals and owners for extended periods of time.

However, the cost is still higher than other training methods and you don’t get nearly the amount of attention and help from the trainer running the course than you would in a private lesson setting. Additionally, oftentimes the instructors for group lessons may be less experienced or qualified than if you were to seek out a professional to give you private training.

Books and Training Guides

There are many hundreds of dog training books, audio courses, magazines, and websites available to you. Obviously, buying a $15 dog training book is much more cost-efficient than paying perhaps a couple hundred dollars to attend training lessons.

However, training your dog with a book is difficult because you have no one to help you understand poorly-explained principles. You also have no one to demonstrate actions and movements to you. Since dog training involves many time-sensitive movements and actions, as well as slight movements and positions that can easily be improperly implemented, it is imperative in your dog training that you can see those actions demonstrated for you. Additionally, training your dog using a book or written guide provides very little accountability and motivation for most dog trainers. Much more often than not, dog owners quit regular training sessions with their dog before they complete the book or guide.

Video Training

Video dog training may be the best alternative to expensive private lessons. Video lessons are much more affordable than hiring a professional trainer, obtainable at a fifth, sixth, or even a tenth of the cost. If you register for an online video dog training course, you will have the accountability of having to complete benchmarks or modules on time. Videos will help demonstrate exactly what you need to do with your dog to train him/her effectively. Plus, you are doing the training by yourself. This helps you to build a bond with your dog and doesn’t confuse your dog as to who is actually boss between you or a trainer you hire.

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