It’s back-to-school season, but that doesn’t mean your dog needs to be left out! Enroll your furry friend in dog obedience training for the first time or brush up on his skills with a refresher training course this fall. It’s the perfect time to help your pet mind his manners, learn some new commands, and socialize with other four-leggers who are attending class, too. Here are some tips to help you prep for your dog’s first day of obedience school.
When To Consider Obedience Training For Your Dog
If you’re wondering when it’s the right time to bring your pet in for obedience training, remember that there’s no single ‘right; answer. All dogs are unique and your pup might be developing at a rate faster or slower than another pet. All dogs have different personalities and will react to training classes in a different way! Before you enroll your pup in a training class, keep his needs in mind. IF you adopted an adult dog with social anxiety, a busy obedience class probably isn’t a great idea for your pet. Individual sessions with a professional trainer or small group sessions would likely be a better bet!
And, if you have a brand new puppy who you’re eager to teach the basics, look for a class geared toward puppy commands. You’ll get to socialize with other pups and have lessons designed specifically with puppies in mind.
Dog Obedience Training Can Teach Your Pet Basic Commands
Many pet parents bring their dogs to obedience school to teach their dogs overall how to respond to basic commands. This generally includes things like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘come,’ ‘wait,’ and other commands that will come in handy on a daily basis. Your pet needs to learn these things to keep him safe and while you can absolutely take on dog training at home, it’s often more efficient for you and your pet to learn these basics in a class!
Obedience Classes Can Help Correct Specific Behaviors
If your dog exhibits certain behaviors you’d like help correcting, obedience school is something to consider! Training your dog requires a ton of patience on your part, and is most effective when you’re getting guidance from a dog trainer who has years of experience helping pets. This can be extra helpful when you’re wanting to correct your dog’s tendency to jump up on guests when they enter your home or your pup’s proclivity for barking at passersby. Obedience training can also be effective in helping aggressive or reactive dogs keep their cool in stressful situations.
Before Your First Dog Training Class
Once you’ve researched the method, trainer, and specific training program that’s right for your dog, it’s time to get prepped for your first class. You don’t want to walk on your first day ill-prepared. Your pet will be unnecessarily stressed and you likely will be, too! Instead, take time to get yourself organized and do the following things before your first obedience training class:
Exercise With Fido Before Obedience Class
Get your dog mooooving before class. Make sure you take him for a nice long walk, hit the dog park, or spend plenty of time playing fetch before you hop in the car and head in for training. Tiring your dog out will help keep him calm and collected during his first training session and is a great way to reduce his stress in this new situation.
Gear Up Before you head to training school
There are some things you need to bring with you to class! Each obedience school is different, but you’ll likely get sent some information with recommendations on what to bring. The general rule of thumb is that you need to bring treats for your pet. Not all dogs are food-motivated, so you’ll need to find an alternative if your pup’s just not that thrilled about treats as a reward. Pack his favorite toy instead, if that’s the case. Many obedience class instructors recommend reaching for ‘soft chew’ treats to avoid potential conflict with other dogs over crumbled treat pieces. And it’s a good idea to grab something healthy and low calorie, becoasue you’ll need to treat your dog quite frequently during a training session! Here are some other things you’ll likely need for training class:
- A leash
- A collar
- A treat pouch
- A clicker
- Poop bags
Take A Potty Break
Make sure you pet has gone potty before you head into class. The last thing you want is for your furry friend to have an accient or do his business indoors. Sure it’s no big deal & it’s bound to happen to at least one pup in class. But it’s best to avoid that mess whenever possible & take your dog out to do his business before you head inside.
Also, keep in mind that some dogs feel the urge to ‘go’ when they’re stressed. Obedience class is new, strange an potentially stressful for your dog. So, his bladder and bowels might be a little over-eager or anxious leading up to his class. Even if your dog’s just been out, it’s a good idea to spend time right before you walk inside for class to start to make sure your dog doesn’t need to go!
Feed Your Dog A Calming Supplement
Before you head into obedience class, give your dog a supplement that’s formulated with soothing ingredients that will help him keep calm during class. Look for foods with hemp to help Fido chill out if he’s stressed or chamomile to help him feel totally in control and calm about class. Reaching for ingredients like these or adding them to his dog bowl on the day of class is a great way to help anxious dogs stress a little less about trying something new!
After Obedience Class Is Over
So, you’ve finished obedience class, and you’re wondering, what next? Just because class is over, doesn’t mean you need to stop training your dog. Our pets can use reminders every now and then to keep them sharp, so it’s a good idea to have mini training sessions at home with some frequency. Here are some other things out can try once your dog obedience training is over:
Try Your Training In A New Setting
If your dog did wonderful in the classroom, try moving your training sessions outdoors after class is done. When there are new and different distractions, it’s challenging for your pet to recall everything he learned in obedience school and listen on command. His is a great way to expand on his lessons! Head to the park, the dog park, a busy area, or another place that’s full of stimulation and work on all the same commands your dog has just mastered in the classroom.
Obedience class offers a great way for your dog to socialize with other pets in a structured environment. Stay social once class is over to keep him up to date on his pup to pup personal skills! Invite some of his classmates over for a play date or head to the dog park to make sure your dog gets plenty of FaceTime with other pets after his training days are over.
Enroll In Another Training Class
Take your dog’s training to the next level! Most obedience schools offer multiple training courses you can consider after your dog has mastered the basics. Look for a class you think he’ll love like ‘Intro to Agility’ if your pup is extra active or ‘Super Sniffers’ if your dog loves seeking out and identifying new scents. Chances are you can find classes that combine your dog’s interests with a bit more teasing and make doggie school something he loves!
PetHonesty Products For Your Dog’s First Day Of School
When you want your dog to be calm and enjoy his first day of school, add some Salmon Oil with Hemp to his dog bowl. The Omega Fatty Acids in fish oil help boost your dog’s mood, lifting his spirits on his big day and the hemp helps keep him calm. It’s the perfect supplement to add to his diet when he’s facing a new situation and headed in for obedience training for the first time. Or, pack some Premium Hemp Calming Chews to bring along with you to your session. They’re soft-chew and perfect to reward your dog during class, plus they’re packed with soothing ingredients that will help your pet chill out and enjoy his first training class!