Many pet owners have found dog training classes to be the best way to train their dogs. Professional training services are often cost-effective and save owners time while being more effective overall.
There are some important details to be aware of if you’re considering sending your dog to a training camp. While training camps have plenty of benefits for dogs and their owners alike, dog owners must adjust their approach to ownership after the training is complete. If not, they’ll quickly find that their dog’s new skills regress into their problem behavior.
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In this article, I’ll cover 6 tips to set both you and your dog up for success when sending them away to an obedience training camp. I’ll also offer some critical insights into the training process so that you can make the best of your dog’s training camp experience.
Many owners are deterred from considering dog training camps because they worry their dogs will forget them. It’s not an unwarranted fear, given that even the shortest camps last several weeks — and many dogs go to training camps when they are only a puppy!
Despite how grounded the concerns may seem, dogs don’t forget so easily. Most training camps find dogs as excited about camp as kids going to a theme park. And once your dog comes home, they’ll be excited to see their family again.
In truth, dogs are so good at remembering their home life that it leads to the next mistake: many dogs remember their unwanted behavior at home. And while preventing behavior problems from returning is simple, it involves keeping up with a training routine.
Another common concern that dog owners have about residential dog training is that their dog’s behavior will regress once they come home. And if the dog isn’t kept on a proper maintenance routine, unfortunately, this is likely to happen. Luckily, establishing a hierarchy and maintaining good behavior is very simple.
Adjusting your behavior is a significant part of having a successful experience with dog training camps. Just as the professional dog trainer establishes that they’re in charge, you’ll need to do the same when your dog comes home. You must ensure that your dog obeys you and consult your dog trainer if issues arise for the next best steps.
Since the specific training regimens used by training camps vary, you’ll need to speak to a professional trainer to get a maintenance routine suited for your pup. And while you’ll initially need to do longer routines to establish a hierarchy, once your dog has adjusted to being back home, it only takes a few simple drills a day to keep your dog well-trained.
3. Find the Right Training Program
There are a variety of dog obedience training camps to choose from, with some better suited to certain types of dogs than others. You should carefully consider your dog’s characteristics as you explore the potential options. There is a training camp for every dog, whether a puppy or an older dog, gentle or reactive, easy to train or stubborn. And if you have specific commands in mind, such as those used with hunting dogs, there are even training camps for that, too!
Dog training camp is a worthwhile investment, but finding the best-suited camp for your dog is part of getting the best value for your money. For this reason, it’s essential to take your time during the early stages of the process to find the camp that you think will deliver the best results. You may also need to factor in training methods, budget, and what type of negative reinforcement is used, if any, before selecting a training program.
4. Engage Your Dog’s New Skills
When you send a dog to an obedience training camp, you might imagine that the most important thing they’ll learn is basic commands (like sit and stay). And while this is important, the best skill a dog takes away from training camp is the ability to learn effectively.
For this reason, once the training camp has laid the foundations for good behavior, you’ll quickly find that teaching your dog new tricks and commands is easy. And since every dog has a unique environment with unique needs, this is incredibly useful. So once your dog has come home from training camp and adjusted to being home, it’s safe to say one of the best things you can do is to keep teaching.
While not every dog needs long-term training support programs, you may find them valuable. This is especially true with obstinate or reactive dogs who may benefit from reinforcement. Luckily, many professional dog trainers make long-term support programs accessible and budget-friendly. Additionally, plenty of books online (like the Super Dog Tricks book) are excellent for your next training goals!
Regardless of their dog’s personality, many people enjoy long-term training support programs for various reasons. Aside from the skilled trainers and professional-grade training grounds, you’ll have someone to consult if anything goes wrong while maintaining your dog’s good behavior.
One of the most critical mistakes to avoid is losing focus during your training maintenance routine. Professional dog training camps expose dogs to various scenarios and locations to ensure the training sticks.
If you don’t maintain this variety with maintenance routines, however, you might find that your dog becomes reactive, aggressive, or disobedient in certain situations. You’ll need to consistently engage your dog with various routines, places, and situations to address this.
For many owners, a dog training camp is one of the best options for behavior modification. The truth is that, despite common worries about dogs forgetting their families or regressing to poor behavior, the pros of training camp outweigh the cons in almost every scenario. Once you’ve given professional training services a try, you’ll quickly see why these programs are so beloved by dog owners worldwide.
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