One of the first things most people think about when adding a dog to their family is getting him well on his way to being a well-mannered friend. We all want a well behaved friend. No one likes to go to a restaurant, bar, or grocery store with a ill tempered, hugry toddler, let alone a mis behaving dog. Training is the way and it doesn't really matter if your furry friend is destined for an occasional visit to the vet and post office or to the competition ring. You have a lot of choices when it comes to training your best friend these days, and it can be super overwhelming. Do we do group classes in a facility, private in-home training, private training at a facility, group classes, and even book an online course. So many options and they can leave our heads spinning when all we want to do is make fido behave a bit better. Deciding on what direction to go can feel a bit daunting. We want to help you make the best decision for your dogs training —whether training your dog at home or in a class setting is best.
When teaching new behaviors, the fewer distractions, the easier it is for your dog to learn—and that is pure glory. You can never eliminate all distractions, even at your home—an unexpected neighbor visit or UPS deliver or the neighbor mowing the lawn are out of our control but these are sights and sounds that they hear frequently and you get to address while training at home.
Training in the privacy of your home, you are able to control the number of distractions and intensity while you are training.
Many dogs behave well in traditional obedience classes, but revert back to their same bad habits at home. When you struggle with basic obedience we believe that you should start at home, in your neighborhood, or anywhere else you go and then add onto their training. In-home training helps to reinforce what your dog learns at home, all week and it’s a safe place with less distractions which is a great place to start in the beginning. A good trainer should also offer some kind of socialization for after you get your basic obedience down at home. We do, here at A Dogs Life Training, shortly after you graduate from in-home training sessions we add in more distractions and ask you to join us in our group classes so you can level up.
We are believers in starting your dogs training at home where everything cool happens. We know there are certainly a lot of reasons why training at home is a good idea and we want to share with you why we think so.
For starters, in-home dog training allows for a bit more flexibility and allows you to work around your personal life. Group classes are great and are offered after you master your in-home lessons. Many group training sessions are not easy to fit into a tight schedule and this is why we love in-home training.
We also love that we get to tailor our training to fit your specific goals. If your dog struggles with counter surfing we can practice at home where the perpetrator is most likely making his move. Or if your dog struggles with door manners we can set you up for success in your training at the very door he loves to rush. At-home training is usually tailored to fit your specific training goals, rather than the generalized curriculum of a group class. So, if your dog often bolts out your front door after a pesky squirrel or barks at the neighbor’s cat all afternoon, you can work on correcting those specific behaviors in your very own space.
We also love that with our help and encouragement you can focus on the areas that frustrate you most and move at your own pace, spending more time on a particular command, if you really need the extra work.
For dogs that are easily distracted or reactive in a group setting, training at home can be a huge sigh of relief. Some dogs are just not ready to take the distractions to the next level until they get the basics down first. Asking a dog to behave at a park is like asking a baby to stop eliminating in a diaper. It's not going to happen until they are trained and your experience will most likely feel a bit overwhelming. In-home training helps you feel confident in taking the next step in obedience training outside of the home—with squirrels, kids, dogs, and walking strangers everywhere.
Training at home also allows you to start teaching your new puppy right away, whereas with group classes, your pup typically has to have had the necessary vaccines before he can get started with basic obedience. Even for an older dog, training at home does lower the risk of your canine companion developing kennel cough or a virus that is making the rounds. We like this idea.
After we come to your house for your initial evaluation and you decide to work with us we create a detailed training plan, complete with literal homework. Every week when we come for a training session we leave you with a detailed guide on what to do to reinforce and train your dog during the week. That way you have everything you need to do the work and come ready the next week for more in-depth training. Oh, and you never have to worry about being on your own. You are always welcome to reach out for answers and a few helpful tips. We want you to be prepared, confident and ready to learn too. Homework helps with that...oh, and btw if your dog ever “eats” his homework, no fear...we can always send you a new copy in a handy dandy email.
Our in-home dog training lessons start with an in-home evaluation and then we build a plan. Each plan is different but has the same structure. Here is a simple outline of what our typical in home training lessons might look like:
1. Intro / Greeting (door lesson)
2. Recap of last week
3. Lesson goals
4. Introduction of commands
5. Homework Sheet
This answer is impossible to answer because it depends on your dog and how much effort you put into it. If we give you homework and you pretend your dog ate it every week you probably won’t see any improvement. However if you are a diligent dog owner and you practice the lessons weekly and daily your dog will improve rather quickly. We encourage you to spend time with your dog. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, your dog won’t see significant changes in their behavior until you follow our plan. However we do provide assistance and training for the life of your dog—so if you ever have problems we are always here to help.
Well, that’s super easy too! All you have to do is book an in-home evaluation and we come to you. That’s it. Then we schedule a weekly appointment time and come to you to train. Are you interested in teaching your dog how to have A Dogs Life? Great. Book an evaluation now.