If your dog training efforts at home aren't going well and/or you feel that you need more support, you should consider going to an organised training club.
Having the resources of a trainer and classmates can be very useful, with the added benefit of being able to socialise your dog and teach him how to interact with other dogs under controlled, 'safe' conditions.
From puppy classes to competitive obedience or flyball, there is a class out there to suit both you and your dog's needs and interests.
A good club should:
- Be in a hall that is safe for both dog and owner
- Have adequate space for the size of class
- Have classes small enough so that the instructor can safely supervise all dogs at all times
- Be able to give all individuals adequate attention
- Put you in the appropriate class for your level
- Make sure that all dogs are under control at all times
- Should be run in a calm and friendly manner
- Not allow shouting at dogs or handlers - it is supposed to be fun!
- Make sure that all dogs wear flat collars for training - no choke or 'check' chains.
- NEVER use or encourage the physical punishment of dogs for any reason
You can find a training club by:
- Word of mouth - ask other dog owners if they could recommend any clubs in your area
- Ask local vet clinics, rescue organisations or libraries if they have lists of local classes, although these will probably not be recommendations so check them out first! A good trainer will be happy for you to sit in on a class before deciding if you would like to join. If they do not want you to watch it is probably better to try somewhere else.
- The Kennel Club and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) should be able to recommend a club in your area.