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puppy classes or training on your own?

We have had a new puppy for almost 2 months now, the shelter said she is a lab/terrier mix. We suspect the terrier is pitbull by the look of her. Anyway she is now almost 6 months old and I am not sure the "training" we have used in the past is being effective with her so I am trying to find a puppy class to get her in that I would take her to because in the past all of our dogs have listened to DH better than me, also at home I am her "primary" person in hopes that she will listen to me. My question is what have other dog owners done for training? And what would you recommend?


Asked by goaliemom93 at 4:32 PM on Sep. 13, 2009 in Pets

Level 4 (44 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • I teach people to teach their dogs. I would recommend that you take her to a class because there are more distractions and the dogs get important socialization. When you train at home it is definanlty a good thing but there are not as many distrations. The dog may do the command well in that setting but when you ask them to do it when another dog is passing by or they see a ball flying through the air they may be less likely to listen. Even being in a class you will be teaching them at home but you should take the dog other places as well to train. I take a dog with me to petsmart at least once a week and work with them as i shop. Before you sign up you a class you should observe them because there are differant training methods and you may not like th instructor. I personally prefer clicker training.

    Answer by KyliesMom5 at 6:03 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • I have always trained our dogs myself. You might try going to Petsmart when you know their training classes are going on and see what you think. Your library will have books and videos. A great new book is out on clicker training by Karen Pryor.

    There are many different philosophies of dog training just like their are many different kinds of parenting philosophies. Authoritative parents believe in developing a close and nurturing relationship with their children while also upholding and maintaining a reasonably high level of expectations and rules or guidelines. An authoritative parenting style is the healthiest and most well-balanced style in which to raise children.

    I think an authoratative philosophy can be used with some dogs. Your dog philosophy has to be something you can live with. I can't be an authoratative parent and an authoratarian dog ruler.


    Answer by GailllAZ at 4:44 PM on Sep. 13, 2009

  • We adopted our goldadore as a pup. She was anxious and had atypical phobias. No way she could have been trained by corrective jerks. We had to work with her nature and help her with her phobias. She is a very well behaved dog.

    Our newest dog was a homeless man's dog and he could no longer care for her. She is very eager to please and very happy. Clicker training has worked well because it lets her know right away what we want her to do. The second the dog does what you ask you click and reward. She doesn't even need food rewards since she just wants to please.

    Our silly goldadore is afraid of the clicker. If I wanted to clicker train her I could quiet the sound or use something else to make a sound. Knowing your dog is very important along with making sure your dog has enough exercise. A tired dog is a good dog.

    I live in harmony with my dogs and cats.

    Answer by GailllAZ at 4:54 PM on Sep. 13, 2009

  • DH and I have always used the "Authoritative Leadership" approach. You can adjust the reward/reprimand to fit the emotional sensitivity of the dog, and train accordingly. Whether it be spankings, newspaper, squirt bottle, or the simple buzzer noise, each dog must be done differently, as no two have the same personality.

    Remember too, that not all lab/terrier mixes really are actually just that. Many shelters assume that if a dog is black, or has floppy ears, or a boxy face that they are part lab. Most times this is not the case. I do know, however, that labs are for the most part puppies until they turn arthritic, and are clumsy and happy. Terriers are babies that get very bored, very quick, and will develop habits if not entertained and given a primary job.

    My rat terrier plays fetch. She barks on command, wrestles the cat, and tries to attack the deer head hanging on our wall. Before I was able to channel her

    Answer by matobe at 7:44 PM on Sep. 13, 2009

  • energy and enthusiasm, she had a real problem of chewing up underwear and anything paper she could get ahold of. Since she's been given a job, she no longer resorts to those things, and I can leave her home alone and not worry about what mess I'm going to come home to.

    Good luck with your new pet, and let me know if I can help in any other way!

    Answer by matobe at 7:45 PM on Sep. 13, 2009

  • Everyone else's answers were long, mine will be short. I trained my dog by myself. However, he was already 1 1/2 when I got him, and he had been abused. I was firm but gentle, and it worked. My dog is a boxer/pit bull and he's now 4 years old and very well behaved (house trained, leash trained, kid friendly and protective of our house). Labs as a general rule are not hard to train, but it takes a LOT of time, and it's better if you give them a job to do. I would definitely suggest some puppy classes to lay the groundwork, most courses are about 6 weeks, and after that you can continue the training at home. Good luck to you!

    Answer by SarahLeeMorgan at 1:57 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • Whatever you do, do NOT go out and buy Cesar Milan's anythings. He is an idiot.

    I use both puppy classes and my own training. My 9 year old lab/shepherd was trained specifically by me. She knows all the basics, plus lift (for when her leash gets stuck under her legs) stop, forward, drop it, off a few hand signals.

    My younger dog is 14 weeks old. He is going to be a large dog (should top 125) so I will be going to formal training with. He is also going to be a confirmation dog so he will get that training too. I am starting his at home training and he already knows sit, stay, come, forward and stop. He is learning platz (which means floor), stand, show and voos (which means heal). He does pretty well. No matter what you chose, be consistent and keep lessons up at home.

    Answer by Acid at 11:51 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • Matobe,

    Of course your dog is going to listen to you if you hit it, yell at it or electrocute it with a buzzer on its nose. Dogs are gentle creatures and by physically intimidating them to train them you end up with a nervous, ticking time bomb dog. OP, do not use physical intimidation to train your dog.

    Answer by Acid at 11:56 AM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • sorry, not nose, noise.

    Answer by Acid at 12:28 PM on Sep. 14, 2009

  • We took our 6 month old doberman to an obedience class, but that taught her all the things we had worked on already, sit, stay, come, down, that sort of thing. We were having behavior issues with her, like jumping on people and chewing the house, so we hired a dog trainer. She kinda mimics the dog whisper and I have to say, IT REALLY WORKS!!!! Addy can actually be in the house around our young kids now.

    Answer by brani5 at 6:02 PM on Sep. 14, 2009