Group class is a very economical way to get started on getting your dog to listen to you. In a group class forum, you and your dog attend training sessions together with other like minded individuals and their dogs, offering a distracting environment in which to practice. Many places offer group classes, but not all group classes are created equal. Here are a few things you may want to consider when looking for a group class:
- It takes an experienced trainer to effectively teach group class, and not all trainers are good with people. Two of many things we have been complimented on by previous students is that “we don’t yell at you” and “we don’t kick people out of class.” Can you imagine going to a class where you the trainer is not nice to you or says your dog is so bad you can’t come back? We can’t either.
- Group class requires a lot of space, for many reasons. Leash walking takes space, off leash recalls take space, and having enough space to get far enough away from the distractions to be successful, and then get closer gradually, is very important for setting you and your dog up for success. Most group classes are taught in an isle in a store, or a small training center, and are not big enough to teach these behaviors well.
- Methods vary greatly, and not all dogs respond to one particular method. A good trainer will have many different ways to teach you if one way is not getting results. Some trainers are way too heavy handed, while others are so permissive that they would rather you be unsuccessful than teach you something they know will work but don’t like doing, like placement. Some trainers look at training as a religion
A Dog’s Best Friend offers group classes at Horses and the Handicapped, inside Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, at the corner of the Florida Turnpike and Sample Road. This wonderful facility gives us the room we need to make group classes easier and more effective by giving people plenty of space to work on training, and get closer to distractions gradually, as their dog gets better and better in obedience. It is also much better to work on behaviors like “heel” and “come” with lots of space and distractions. Equipped with fencing, lighting, fans, and a nice PA system, this facility makes our classes comfortable and effective year round!