Bringing home a new puppy is a beautiful experience. As they explore their new surroundings, your furry soulmate will learn more about their family and eventually become your trusty sidekick for years to come. But there’s an important step you must take before your pup matures into your fur-ever friend: training.
Puppy training, if done consistently, can be an absolute breeze. Some puppies are just so eager to please their owners that they’ll do anything. Other puppies, however, have a little stubborn streak. These furry cuties are just naturally independent or aloof—they don’t like being told what to do!
And if you aren’t willing to show your pup who’s boss, training will be a nightmare. That’s where puppy training classes come in.
A good instructor and/or training school can work wonders on your puppy’s training. They also tend to be cheaper than private lessons. You and your puppy will even get the chance to meet with other fur-parents and learn how they handle their dogs.
So are puppy training classes worth it? Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons before you sign up.
What are puppy training classes?
A puppy training class is an instructional program designed to train puppies to follow basic commands and other essential tricks. Many puppy training classes require up-to-date vaccinations (and documented proof!), including parvo and distemper. They may also have age requirements—typical enrollment age for puppies lies between 10 to 16 weeks of age.
You may be taught by an instructor on how to talk to your puppy during training and how you can use each exercise at home. If your furry friend has a bad habit, like biting or chewing, you will likely be taught how to stop or prevent it.
Some other things that may be discussed at a puppy training class is your puppy’s possible fears, anxieties, and socialization process. Remember that these classes aren’t really for your puppy, they’re actually for you. You will need to teach your puppy the lessons you learned in class while at home. The key to training is consistency and patience, and your instructor’s guidance should help you.
What are the benefits of puppy training classes?
Puppy training classes generally run between 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the instructor’s lesson plans. Along with a short timespan and inexpensive prices, these classes will teach you how to understand your furry friend better so that you can prevent bad behaviors.
You may also meet with other puppy parents and ask about their overall experiences. This can help you adopt certain practices in training your pooch too! Your puppy will have a chance to socialize with other pups, especially if the instructor allows them a short play session.
When interacting with other puppies, your furbaby will discover how to play and how to interpret body language—all of which are necessary ingredients for a healthy, well-mannered puppy.
What are some possible issues you may face?
Of course, since puppy training classes involve others, there are always possible risks you and your puppy may face. These include:
- Illness: Even if your puppy has all of their vaccinations done, they may still get sick. They’re surrounded by other puppies in an unfamiliar environment so the potential for a possible pathogen is high. You may need to speak to your vet about illnesses your pup may be exposed to in a puppy training class.
- Bad behavior: Your puppy may be anxious or hyperactive on the first day of class. To be fair, puppy training classes usually occur in a distracting environment. Being surrounded by strangers and their puppies can cause your furry friend to feel stressed or excited. Speak to your instructor and be sure to continue training your pup at home.
- Tension: Your puppy may also feel constrained if they are on a leash at all times. Put them in a room with other puppies on leashes and you’ve amped up the tension to another level! Your furbaby may strain against the leash, which may lead to the instructor taking your puppy away from you. A good instructor will then teach you how to handle your energetic pooch.
What should I consider before signing up?
Always weigh the pros and cons of puppy training classes before you sign up. Puppy training classes require commitment from you and your puppy. And if you aren’t up to putting an effort, you will be wasting your time.
We recommend talking to an instructor, asking them about their lessons and concerns about your pup’s behavior. You should also check out their website, social media platforms, and other online sites to ensure that they’re the right teacher for you!
Choosing an effective puppy training class can be time-consuming. You may also find that there are many books, TV shows, and guides that already provide the information these classes teach. If you want your puppy to meet other pups and people of various backgrounds while you receive professional guidance, we say go for it! We hope you and your puppy bond and learn from each other during puppy training.
Puppy socialization takes a lot of work! Check out our tips on How To Properly Socialize Your Puppy to learn about how you can help your pup become a social butterfly.