Dog training clubs are a great way to get help with obedience training and continued socialization of your puppy or dog. There are many different dog training clubs, and with a little research you can find one close to your home.
The people you will meet who are involved in the Club are people like you, who are very fond and proud of their own dogs, and also want to make sure their pets are trained well enough to be sociable and well behaved in any situation-even among crowds of other people and their dogs.
Each club will have scheduled weekly or bi-weekly classes, and you should choose the class you want to sign up to, according to the level of training your dog has (or has not) already received. The trainers in the course will have lots of helpful advice and should be experienced themselves.
Many clubs are affiliated with the National Dog Owner’s association. The N.D.O.A. has occasional meetings and get together-which also offer a week of training qualification courses for dog owners who are interested in qualifying as obedience trainers.
There are several types of dog training clubs, but most of them offer a variety of classes ranging from the beginning obedience training class (teaching your pet to sit, stay, lay down, etc) on through intermediate training classes and finally to more advanced types of dog training. The more advanced courses may teach your dog how to do dog show competitions, protection training or tracking training, to name a few.
You can practice the exercises you and your dog learned during the previous lesson at home during the rest of the week-your puppy or dog’s homework-and be prepared to learn the next step the following lesson. In addition to learning obedience training, the socializing that your pet gets from being trained in a group setting, along with the interaction with other people and their pets, is a terrific way to keep your dog friendly. Often dogs that turn out aggressive are dogs that have had no chance to interact with other people or dogs and learn how much fun it can be to have canine as well as human friends to play with.
While the dog training clubs do have members who are interested in show dog competition, many of the members just enjoy having a well behaved pet, and the social aspects of the dog training clubs. For those interested in the dog show competitions, they should check with the American Kennel Club for dog show events schedules. The AKC dog shows are for pure bred dogs only, with each breed of dog competing with other dogs of breeds with similar characteristics.
If you have a special breed of dog, such as a German shepherd, often there may be a club of fellow German shepherd (or Labrador, etc.) enthusiasts near you. However, any well run dog training club will offer training course suitable for any breed of dog you may have. Any type of dog will respond favorably to correctly applied positive training techniques. It is a good idea to try to get some feedback from a friend or fellow dog owner about the particular club you are interested in joining in order to make sure it is right for you and your pet.
For dog owners who want to really push the limits of dog training, there are Schutzhund training clubs for dog owner’s of very specially trained dogs, usually( but not limited to) German shepherd dogs, that are trained to perform tracking, obedience, and protection trials in order to attain at rating of Schutzhund I, II, or III, depending on the level of difficulty of the trial. This is the highest level of dog training, and is not part of a regular dog training club’s itinerary. These dogs are suitably qualified to be police dogs or search and rescue dogs.
So, if you want to get started with training and socializing your dog, check out a dog training club near you and sign up. You and your dog will enjoy going, and the results of having a well behaved and thoroughly socialized dog make the classes well worth it.