Find the class you want before you need it.
This is especially true for puppy classes, which are time-critical: your puppy should be in class long before she is six months of age. In fact, she should start class as soon as your veterinarian okays it, usually after a well-puppy checkup and age-appropriate vaccinations.
Puppy classes that are good attract crowds. You don’t want to miss out on that critical development period for your new pup just because you failed to register on time!
Once you decide to start looking for a puppy—or an adult dog—start searching for the right class. In fact, [...]
Last week, we talked about outmoded methods of training—methods that might physically harm dogs and methods that certainly could change an owner’s relationship with his dog . . . and not for the better. If punitive methods have been proven ineffective and potentially harmful, what are our alternatives?
First, do no harm.
Perhaps you know these words as the motto of physicians, but they are equally meaningful to dog trainers, class instructors, and behavior specialists. We deal with two species—canine and human. In many ways, we act as advocates for the canine side of the relationship, speaking for the one who can’t speak for himself. I’m [...]
When I attended my first dog-training class in 1980, with my first dog, I had little idea of how dog training was done. But I had ridden horses from the time I was seven years old, so I knew about how training classes were conducted. The dog-training class I entered did not seem all that different from the equitation classes I had attended as a kid: participants suited up their animals in the required equipment, got in line, and marched around in a big circle while an instructor stood in the middle of the ring and called commands.
The commands were [...]