The thought of training my dog overwhelms me. Where should I start?
What method is best for training my dog?
A common question for new dog or puppy owners is "How do I go about training my dog?" There are a few different ways you can go about it depending on your situation and personal preference.
Professional Dog training classes. These classes can be a great way to get started especially if you are inexperienced in dog training. If you decide to attend classes ask your friends or veterinarian for a recommendation. Look for a trainer that is certified and knowledgeable about current training techniques. If at all possible, attend a class before you enroll. Look for a class that is manageable in size and where the trainer provides one on one time with each dog. The trainer should never yell or physically punish any dog. Instruction provided should be clear and you should be able to take it and apply it outside the class.
Remember, that this class is for you too. If you find yourself uncomfortable with the situation, find another class immediately.
Books and web based training. There are many great books on the market that can teach you how to train your dog or puppy yourself at home. This can be a great method for you if you don't have a flexible schedule or cannot afford the expense of a class. Web based training is another option if you need a more flexible option.
Look for one that offers unlimited access to their online library and access to a professional dog trainer should you have any questions. There is usually a one time or monthly fee associated with these sites. Another benefit of this kind of training is that they usually offer more than one training option. If a particular method doesn't work for your dog, they may be able to offer another one that does.
Whichever methods you choose remember that you and your puppy will need lots of consistent practice and reinforcement at home. Before you know it you will be saying "I did a great job of training my dog!"