The question is often asked, “Why should I put my dog through a training course?”
Training Improves the Human/Dog relationship
A dog who has been through a reputable training course has learned how to better communicate with humans. An even greater benefit is that the human learns how to better communicate with the dog. Even if the dog is trained by a trainer at a Doggy Camp (as opposed to private lessons or group lessons), the benefits in the canine/human relationship are enhanced. Given that the trainer spends time educating the owner on correct communication skills, the owner can now effectively interact with the dog in a way that begets good behaviors. A trainer who will spend time with the dog’s owner is a rare jewel, indeed. A large part of training is educating the owner as much as it is educating the dog. Many of the problems that dogs have are caused by humans. If these causes are reduced, the relationship can be enriched.
Private lessons and Group lessons can be benefit IF the trainer knows how to organize the lesson and effectively communicate with both the dogs and the humans involved. In this setting, the owner does the training under the supervision of the trainer. If you have the patience and the time, this may be a good route to consider.
Training Overcomes Problems
Good training conducted by good trainers produces a better-mannered dog. Problems are overcome, hang-ups are reduced, and frustrating behaviors are dealt with in such a way that the dog responds in a positive light. The jumping, nipping, growling dog learns to relate with humans in a way that humans find acceptable. Good training also overcomes poor habits that humans have introduced to the dog in the past: swatting with a newspaper, correcting with a hand, poor dog/human communication, etc.
Good training consists of trainers who can recognize problems and have solid answers/methods of how to overcome those problems. There are many wanna-be trainers out there who can smooth-talk your emotions in order to get your money. Be sure the trainer you choose is certified and has the experience to back up his/her claims.
Training Reduces the Number of Dogs Surrendered to Shelters
Statistics show that 96% of dogs that are surrendered to Shelters have not had any type of formal training. This shows us that the first two reasons mentioned above are very real and true. Dogs who go through a dog training course are enabled to live within the human “pack” in a better manner. Owners who have interacted with a good trainer (who can communicate well with humans) are enlightened on how to work with the dog instead of working against him. Friction and frustration are reduced and dog is far less likely to be taken to the Shelter.
So, yes, take your dog to a reputable, certified trainer who has the knowledge, experience, and passion to enrich your dog’s skills and enhance your own.