There are clear benefits for dog owners who use trainers or go to obedience school. For puppies,
taking an obedience class can help short term and long term. Not only are
the puppies given basic training, but the owner also learns effective techniques for training
and control. Puppies benefit from contact with other people and pets
in a controlled safe environment. Even if a dog hasn’t had basic training,
consulting a trainer for specific problem behaviors can be quite helpful.
While it certainly is possible for people to train their own dogs, there are a number
of reasons for one to seek professional help. First, a good trainer knows
dogs - they know how dogs communicate, how they behave, and what motivates them. Often bad behaviors develop due
to an owner's misunderstanding or mistake. Training and obedience classes teach
pet and owner alike. This can be particularly helpful to a first time dog owner as he/she will learn
effective methods of training and control. Puppy classes are also especially
useful for owners whose dog has the potential of being hard
to control. This includes high energy dogs like labs as well as big and/or
that may be able to over power their owner as they become full grown. Even
the gentle giants like St. Bernard’s can create trouble if an owner
is unable to handle them effectively. Obedience class is often a time for
a puppy to socialize with other pets and people, and essentially learns
etiquette. This is important as most dogs will have contact with
other people and pets, and appropriate behavior is needed.
Another time trainers are helpful is when there are specific behavior
issues that need to be addressed. There is a broad range of bad
behaviors that can vary greatly in severity, and a good trainer has likely
dealt with most behavioral problems in one form or another. Many problems can
be resolved quickly and effectively with the help of a trainer, making
life easier for pet and owner alike.
If your dog shows any signs of aggression,
it is particularly important to consult a trainer. Resolving aggression
issues early is best and safest for all involved, and it can keep a minor
issue from becoming a severe problem. While experienced dog owners may not
need a trainer, for many pet owners a trainer or an obedience class is
an invaluable resource.