Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern California
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I generally do training on my own, but I've been training dogs for a very long time. But I occasionally do classes, too, for certain things.
Christine, I think you would definitely benefit from having a trainer over, but also from doing group classes. Group classes are great because you get to watch others going through the process, too.
Just don't rely on a trainer to train your puppy. Because, here's the thing about dog training: It's not the dog that needs the training, it's the people. The dogs already know how to do everything. The people need to learn how to work with their dogs. They need to learn what they can and cannot expect from their dogs, the importance of consistency, techniques for motivating and communicating with their dogs, and problem solving, among other things.
Dog trainers train people, not dogs. Oh, they can work with your dog, get your dog going great and take your money, but as soon as they are out the door you're right back in the same problem, and clueless. Get a trainer who will train you. Then you can train your dog. Get all the family members learning about training, so everyone is on the same page and your puppy doesn't get confused by all the mixed messages.