How to Choose a Dog Training Center

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How to Choose a Dog Training Center

Bericht van Danny op do 5 nov 2009 - 3:24

Once youíve decided to begin classes with your dog, whether obedience or agility training, youíll need to find a center that meets your needs and helps you to achieve your goals. Not all centers have the same philosophy when it comes to handling animals, and not all centers will have the same degree of respect for your reasons for training.

The most important piece of advice is to trust your instincts. Before you sign up for the first class, visit the center while classes are in session. Do all dogs and their owners seem happy and relaxed? You will probably have an instant first impression. This will be a good guide for you to decide if the center is a fit for you and your dog.

Ask if you can have a trial session before you commit to a financial arrangement. Bring your dog and find out if the dog will be able to focus with other animals around. If not, do the trainers have tricks and suggestions to help your dog? If the trainers shrug and act as if they canít help you, look elsewhere.

Do the goals of the center match the goals that you have set for yourself and your dog? Itís fine, for instance, to seek a center that will focus on competition preparation, if thatís what is important to you. But if youíre mainly interested in fun and exercise, and the other participants and the trainers are cut-throat competitors, youíll be better off finding a center with a more laid back perspective.

Snoop around a little. Is the physical facility clean? Are there plenty of staff people for the number of clients and dogs? Are there diplomas and certificates displayed showing that the center is up-to-date and someone will be able to respond if your dog is hurt? Just like searching for a day care center for your child, youíll want to be sure that safety is a prime concern for the training center.

What about equipment? Does it seem to be well-maintained and safe? Observe other clients working their dogs and notice if the training course is secure and monitored.

Find out the methods the staff uses to train and teach dogs. Some centers may use more punitive approaches in training. Dogs respond best to positive reinforcement. If the methods seem too harsh, visit another center.

Visit with other clients, and ask if there is a list of alumni you could contact. Often, word of mouth is the most reliable way to find out how good and effective a center truly is.


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