Dogs should have a certain basic obedience. This is important for the coexistence between man and dog to work. A good and consistent education is therefore of great importance. However, in order to be able to educate the dog properly, a little experience and practice are already necessary. Many dog owners who have already had dogs, already have the necessary knowledge and skills here. Novice dog owners, however, are often unsure how to properly educate the dog. Dog schools and dog trainers offer their help here. But with the wide range that exists throughout the country, it is really difficult to find the right dog school. However, there are some points that a good dog school should definitely meet.
Questions to be clarified in advance
First and foremost, anyone who takes in a dog should take in an animal that is a good match for them in terms of character. If one has discovered the right breed for oneself, then it must be considered how the dog is to be trained and which leisure activity is optimal for the animal. These questions are important to find a suitable dog school, because mostly these clubs are specialized in certain sports like agility, flyball or similar. You should ask yourself whether the basic obedience is enough, or whether the dog should undergo tests and training. Perhaps one simply wants to explore new possibilities of employment and have fun. If socializing and getting to know other dog owners is important to one, that should also be factored into the choice of dog school.
Trust instead of force
Many dog schools work unfortunately still today with verbal or even physical chastisement of dogs. These educating measures are long outdated and have in the modern world also no more place between humans and animal. Behavioral research has made great progress in the meantime and so we know today that the dog can learn from experience and from success as well as failure. If the dog shows desired behavior, he receives a reward. Wrong behavior is ignored. The dog thus has no sense of achievement. This provides incidentally for the development of trust and a good relationship between man and dog. A good dog school must therefore fulfill exactly this point in the first place. It must work with the animals according to the basics of respect and trust. Unfortunately, to this day there are black sheep among dog trainers. It is essential to pay attention to this.
Here caution is required
If a dog school talks about success in dog sports without being able to prove the solid education and training in this direction, the dog school is not serious. Every dog is treated according to the same scheme. No attention is paid to the individual dog. The topic dominance is constantly in the foreground and is thematized. Dogs are punished for misbehavior. Rewards are only given by petting. It is explained, the love to the dog must be completely sufficient as a reward.
An absolute no-go in dog schools should be kicks, leash jerks and pinches. Under no circumstances should physical violence of any kind be inflicted on the dog. Equally completely unprofessional are choke and prong collars or even teletact devices. Furthermore, a dog’s fear must never be played with in a dog school and possibly used for educational purposes. Exercises that promote aggression are also not an issue for a good dog school. If the dog owner ever gets into a situation that makes him or her uncomfortable during training at the dog school, the dog should be stopped immediately and leave the dog school. Dog schools that still work with pressure and violence must be avoided at all costs.
This is how a dog school should be organized
Small groups are ideal for training in dog school. A trainer should work with a maximum of five dogs. The trainer should approach each dog individually and also accept that there are differences in performance. Exercises are explained calmly and precisely, so that the dog owner knows exactly how they should proceed. Trainers should always notice immediately if an individual dog is overwhelmed with an exercise and respond accordingly. A training session should always be followed by a break from play. The animals are also supervised by the trainers during the play phases. It may be necessary to intervene if play is too wild. Positive guidance should be given here.
There are many dogs that develop great stress in groups. This can lead to lack of concentration and aggressiveness. These dogs should be trained separately from the group with their owners. Dogs with severe behavior problems or even females in heat are not trained in the group. Puppies between the ages of eight and 16 weeks should also always be allowed to play separately. The trainer should be trained according to modern knowledge concerning dog handling. Communication between humans and dogs should be done more through body language and hand signals. Tests should be offered if there is interest. However, they should never become coercion. And last but not least, family members should be able to attend the training.
Controversial topic chest harness
A contentious issue in dog schools today is still often the chest harness. Many dog schools still insist on collars, some even on chain collars. However, the dog’s neck is a very sensitive area. Collars can cause damage to the cervical spine, especially if the dog likes to pull on the leash once in a while. For all dogs, regardless of size and age, the chest harness is therefore the much better solution. In a good dog school, the chest harness is even recommended, because even with this harness, the dog can be taught to walk on a loose leash.