Maybe you already know the answer to the question of whether you would like to attend dog training classes or have private lessons, but there are several things to consider.

If you have a puppy, then puppy class is usually the best option. Some trainers offer one-off puppy parties, but in the only study that looked at this, they found that a six-week puppy class offers better results in the long run.  So if you want to go to puppy parties, it's probably better to sign up for several, to get more socialization and play with other puppies.

A puppy class must be exactly what it says – for puppies only, no adult dogs.

Puppy class will include socialization as well as basic obedience exercises. Your puppy should have some opportunities to play with the other puppies, and a good class will separate the shy puppies from the boisterous ones so that no one becomes overwhelmed. Unfortunately, many puppies miss out on puppy class
Some dog trainers offer private sessions for…

When choosing a dog trainer, the most important thing is to find a trainer who uses reward-based dog training methods, which they might call positive reinforcement, force-free, or humane training methods.

However, just because you see those words on someone’s website, does not mean they actually use those methods (see below for the questions you should ask).

Reward-based dog training is based on either giving a reward (to make a behaviour more likely to happen again) or withholding a reward (to make the behaviour less likely to occur).

Technically speaking, using rewards to make a behaviour increase in frequency is called positive reinforcement. That’s why some dog trainers call themselves positive reinforcement dog trainers.

Others call themselves force-free or humane dog trainers, to distinguish themselves from people who use aversive techniques such as electric shock, prong collars, leash ‘corrections’, ‘alpha rolls’ or th…
By Sophia Yin, DVM, MS March 9, 2009
“The client, an elderly couple, had a 6-year-old male, neutered Rhodesian Ridgeback that was aggressive to dogs” describes Dr. Jennie Jamtgaard, an applied animal behavior consultant and behavior instructor at Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “They had watched Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan and seen Millan place aggressive dogs in with his group of dogs and then hold them down on their sides or back if they were aggressive. So they brought their dog to the dog park and basically flooded him [immersed him in the aggression-inducing situation].”
Not surprisingly, they didn’t get far. “The female owner was trying to make the dog lie down while she stood on the leash, while all the dogs came up to hover and sniff. Her dog growled, then another dog growled back, and her dog (who probably weighed the same as she did) started to lunge and she couldn’t stop it. Then she was bitten while breaking up the fight that ens…

Adopting a dog

Tips for First-Time Dog Owners

Adopting a dog is a fun and exciting moment in anyone’s life. For a family, it is an experience to expand your home and teach children responsibility. Although it is exciting and fun, it is also a decision that should not be made lightly, as dog ownership involves a lot of work. The hard work is worth it in the long run, and the small amount of time you invest today will pay off in a wellbehaved and content animal for life.

Understand the commitment

Adopting a dog is a big step that should be the culmination of serious discussion and consideration in your household. Before running to the adopting clinic, where you will be bowled over by the cuteness of every single puppy and dog up for grabs, do a thorough assessment of your family, your home, and your future plans to make certain that your new dog fits into every aspect of your life. Make sure that you and every member of your family understands this commitment. Everyone will think your new puppy is …