Anyone who’s had a puppy will tell you that training is one of the most difficult and rewarding parts of adopting a new furry family member. From potty training with puppy pads to teaching your pup to sit and stay, puppy training is no easy task and will in many cases leave people wondering if they should seek extra help. Here are some tips to help you decide whether at-home puppy training or obedience classes are best for you.
Although it might seem like at-home puppy training is by far the easiest and cheapest option, it is important to consider that the ideal time frame to start training your puppy is between five weeks and four months of age. This means that even though you won’t have to make appointments or even leave your house, you should still cut out a consistent amount of time in your schedule every day to sit down with your pup. Not only is this a fun and exciting time in your pet’s life that you won’t want to miss, but taking the time to train early-on is also the best way to ensure you won’t lose valuable time and face obedience issues down the road when your pup matures. Whatever skills you decide to practice, just try to keep your training consistent, take on one thing at a time and be patient because at-home training is a learning experience for you too.
That being said, at-home training isn’t for everyone and there are always other options. In reality, you are not in the minority if you choose to meet with a trainer.
If your pup proves to be particularly difficult or if you simply don’t have the time to commit to at-home training, obedience classes could be the perfect way to get things rolling. Just be sure to do your research before committing to a trainer because there are endless types of dog trainers and regimens to choose from. At obedience classes, your pup will learn basic commands like how to sit, stay and lie down, and behavioral training classes will address problems like barking, chewing and jumping up on the furniture. While both types of training are equally valuable and will help your pup get used to being around other people and dogs, be sure to determine the specific kind of training your pup needs before setting up your first visit with a trainer.
While it is important to keep things consistent, you won’t know which method of training is best for you and your pup if you don’t try them both. Once the initial excitement of bringing a puppy home subsides, try some basic at-home potty training and make sure your pup learns its name. Depending on how that goes, introduce some basic commands at home and try out an intro-level obedience class. After all, what do you have to lose?