Thursday, 18 June 2015

5 Reasons to Take Your Dog to School

When I first got Maizy, I didn't expect to take her to puppy classes. I had horses. I knew how to train animals. But then it hit me - I've ridden for nearly 20 years and I still take lessons because there is always something more to learn.

Maizy with her certificate
from Puppy School
We started with puppy classes which were an absolute blast. These classes are more about human training than dog training. A good class should also allow for lots of puppy socialization. It was amazing watching the puppies go from little monsters to good canine citizens.

After that, I was totally hooked on dog school. We took a bit of a break while Maizy was spayed, and then signed up for additional classes. We completed a manners course, a introduction to Agility and an introduction to Rally-O. Maizy absolutely loves dog school - she can barely contain herself when we pull into the facility!

I signed Maizy up for a repeat of the Manners class. While we are more advanced than the other students, it is an excellent refresher. I've gotten to know the instructors at the school quite well and they know what Maizy is capable of and where she struggles, so we can make the simple exercises more difficult (aka while practising loose leash walking, Maizy and I also worked on perfecting our rally sits).

Without a doubt, I can say that dog school is one of the best things I have done for Maizy. It has definitely made her a happier and more relaxed dog. And now that my long-ish introduction is over, here's why your dog should go to school.

5 Reasons to Take Your Dog to School

  1. A better behaved dog. This one is pretty obvious, but the impact is often undersold. Maizy is a very, very well behaved dog thanks to all her training and it makes dog ownership so much more enjoyable. Heck, I get stressed out when I see other people's dogs running wild and causing chaos, so it's nice to have a dog who listens well. Plus, the amount of of compliments I get on her training are great for my ego.
  2. A stronger bond with your dog. Dogs love to work for their human. Training brings you and your dog closer together, strengthening the human-canine bond. Whether you're simply working on your sit-stays or doing complex agility work, your dog is thrilled to be spending time with you.
  3. A more confident dog. Dog school exposes Fido to a variety of other dogs, people and situations. Your dog will learn problem solving skills and have good experiences that will carry over into your everyday routine. Maizy is happy to take on new, scary experiences because she has had so many positive encounters in the past.
  4. A well trained dog is a safer dog. It's a big world out there and the truth of the matter is that there are lots of things that could potentially hurt your dog. Imagine this: You open your front door, hands full of groceries. Fido comes to greet you but bolts out of the door when he catches sight of a squirrel. He is headed towards the road. "Fido! Come!" you say. Does your dog listen? I have been in this exact situation with Maizy and because of all our training, her recall is excellent. 
  5. It's fun! Seriously, dog school is a blast. You get to see lots of cute dogs (puppy school was seriously amazing), you get to play with your dog and you get to hang out with people who love dogs. You might even learn a little bit in the process. 
Maizy works on targeting, a skill we learned at school!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for dog school today! 

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