HOW DO I SELECT THE MOST QUALIFIED TRAINER?
*A word of mouth recommendation is powerful.
*Check the internet for local “dog training” options and check the sites that offer a trainer’s biography stating their years of experience, dog affiliations and training accomplishments.
CAN I VISIT YOUR FACILITY BEFORE I SIGN UP FOR A CLASS?
*Absolutely! Call and ask. A reputable training facility should be eager for you to see a class in progress – ideally plan to attend when the course is at the ½ way point.
WILL MY DOG GAIN WEIGHT IF I USE FOOD TREATS?
*Not necessarily. Training treats are small for medium to large dogs and tiny for small and toy dogs.
*Reduce their regular meal size – the treats you use for training will replace that amount.
*Treats should eventually be phased out and replaced with your enthusiastic praise.
*Learn how you can determine if your dog is currently at a healthy weight. Professionals and friends alike fear offending you with the comment that your dog is “fat”.
*A recent study has shown that dogs maintaining a healthy weight live 2 years longer (in people years that is).
AT WHAT AGE DO YOU BEGIN PUPPY TRAINING?
*Ideally, 9 – 12 weeks old. Keep in mind that the younger the puppy, the fewer bad habits they have had time to establish after leaving the litter. If you will be going to a professional training facility, wait until after their initial set of vaccinations – or the 2nd set if you prefer.
CAN MY DOG BE TOO OLD TO LEARN?
*No dog is too old to learn a new trick!! But it may take a bit longer to diminish old habits.
WHAT IF MY DOG ISN’T FOOD MOTIVATED?
*Food is the reward most favored by dogs. Dogs are highly motivated by smell. Experiment with different treats – hot dogs, cooked chicken, string cheese. Commercial treats should be semi moist because they can easily be divided or cut with scissors into the desired size. Hard treats take a longer chew time! Have several choices available when you train. Keep trying, don’t give up quickly.
* Plan your training session before their meal time so they will be hungry.