Do you really need to take a dog obedience course? Or is this something you can take care of at home with a bit of love and patience?
This is the dilemma that first-time dog owners face. Some people say you’re silly for trying to train your dog all by yourself. Other people will say that hiring a trainer is throwing your money away.
To help you decide what’s right for your dog and your family, here are the pros and cons of each.
If you can’t afford dog training, you have other options. Self-training can work and you may feel an extra bond with your pup knowing that you survived it together.
The downside to self-training is that the info is only as good as you remember it. So, if you forget or misunderstand something important, nobody is there to correct you. Both you and your pup will suffer through it.
Stay patient and stay disciplined. Make time for at least a few 5-minutes sessions throughout the day. Don’t go for much more than 20 minutes. Anything over that asks too much from you and your dog.
Are dog training classes worth it? The simple answer is, “Yes, almost always.”
The only downside is that they’re not cheap. Puppies arrive needing vet visits, shots, crates, toys, beds and lots of other things. You may not have a lot of money left.
But it’s money very well spent. You’re getting the guidance of someone with years of experience. No matter how quirky you think your dog’s personality is, your guide will know how to teach them.
You don’t have to spend hours reading books and watching videos. You also won’t have to tap into a new reserve tank of patience as you try to guide your dog without help. Getting impatient can sour your relationship with your beloved pup.
It’s always best to have the guidance of professionals. But it can be expensive and difficult for a busy family to attend all of the lessons. At the very least, think about getting the training for your first dog. You can learn how to properly train your dog, and then apply that to training the next one by yourself.
You can also do other things to prepare your home for your new puppy. For example, you can protect your bed with a PawPad ® protective cover to keep their bladders-in-training from ruining your duvet or comforter.
Take a look at your unique situation. Ask yourself if you can really afford dog obedience training. Before you answer, ask yourself how much time and patience you can really invest in making sure your puppy gets the guidance they need.
That’s how you will know how much obedience training is worth to you.