Training your dog is essential because it gives your pet mental stimulation, behavioral conditioning, and the ability to stay safe when surroundings become too chaotic. In order to achieve the optimal results, the best option is to seek professional help training your dog.
But, while dog training facilities are ideal for your dog to learn commands, it does not mean just any camp will do. As a pet owner, you must make sure you find the camp that is the right fit, and keep in mind that not all dog training camps are made equal.
Benefits of Dog Training Camps
An experienced dog owner will tell you that training is not a one-time thing. Dog training is intended to be continuous for the remainder of its life, and with proper training, dogs will remember what they have learned and apply it to situations. Successfully recalling commands and desired behaviors can come in handy when surroundings are chaotic or unsafe.
You can expect that by the end of training camp, your dog will gain:
- New breakthroughs in new environments.
- The ability to learn quickly through the help of a professional.
- Positive response to consistent training.
Participating in training classes can help you and your dog have better communication, reduce the stress that can cause misbehaviors at home, help you build a strong relationship with your dog, and more.
Making the Right Choice for Your Pet
From different types of facilities to different approaches to training, dog training camps can come with an array of strategies pointed at your dog’s needs. A dog training camp can be very similar to a boot camp. It is intended to immerse your pet in intense training sessions over many days, and sometimes weeks.
During their sessions, instructors manage and track progress and tailor the following sessions to focus on areas where your pet stands to improve. From imprinting behaviors appropriate to a situation to increasing responsiveness to commands, a dog training facility can provide a host of instructional options that should be tailored to the needs of the pet and the owner.
Quality Pet Training Requires Research
Like many decisions, deciding on the right dog training camp requires a bit of research. You want to learn about the facility, their approach to training, and also hear from testimonials and past successes.
Centers should be willing to provide referrals. You can also see if others in your area have used a particular facility, ask questions about the quality of service they experienced, and how well their pet retained the training they learned there.
Facilities reviews are not the only factors you should consider. Trainers should also be vetted for certification, success stories, and more. You want to work with someone with experience and the certifications needed to provide quality training for your dog.
For example, the Greenlin instructors who will be working with you and your pet are in-house certified for our own balanced training approach, and they hold certifications in canine first aid and CPR. They must also be able to meet the basic training capabilities for programs like the AKC’s Canine Good Citizens (CGC) program. These are just some of the basic requirements our staff must meet, with additional extensive hours of training before working with any of our furry students.
Look for a Style That Fits Your Values and Your Dog’s Needs
Dog owners should also be aware of the training style of some camps. Trainers who show frustration, punishment, or other abusive methods should be avoided at all costs. Exposing your dog to a situation like that can have severe consequences that will impact them in future training efforts.
Additionally, pet owners must make sure to conduct proper research for whatever centers they are planning to choose. This analysis includes looking for online information like their website, services, and types of sessions in their camp. Plus, dog owners should take a deep look at customer reviews to get a better understanding of the training approaches used.
Visit the Facility for a First-Hand Look
Lastly, dog owners should always visit the training camp before bringing their pets. That includes talking with the directors and learning more about the programs, but also seeing how many pets are present and how they are reacting to their trainers:
- Are they showing fear, especially in the presence of their trainer?
- Are they being yelled at and mistreated?
- Are the conditions of the center clean and orderly?
- Do the activities and methods seem conducive to animal learning?
As a dog owner, you want to make sure that the place you choose to train your pet is clean, safe, and treats dogs with care, respect, and positive reinforcement. Environments that do not practice this can negatively affect your pet and its capacity to be in similar places in the future.
Group vs. Private Dog Training Camps
There are two types of dog training camps: private sessions and group sessions. Each type has its benefits and disadvantages, but it ultimately depends on your dog’s needs and which kind of training will ensure that they receive the best instruction for how they learn.
Dogs are like people in that they all learn differently. Although dog training camps are like “boot camps” intended to help dogs learn a lot quickly, they might work better for dogs with certain conditions, age, or traits over others.
Group Training Camps
Remember that dogs are pack animals. They are good at working with each other and learning from each other. Being social comes naturally to most. In turn, learning alongside other dogs can help yours minimize any social anxieties or fears that they may have.
Immersing your dog in a group training camp comes with many benefits. While not all places offer these kinds of classes, they give a more “classroom” feel to training, and dogs can have a chance to socialize and learn from their fellow campmates.
Working with other dogs means your pet will be exposed to learned commands while surrounded by distractions such as loud noise, movement, and strangers. It becomes the perfect opportunity, especially for those dog owners learning to reinforce obedience in non-ideal circumstances.
In a group setting, all attendees will work together to learn routines and discipline while in the presence of others. The pet owners will often be present and participate in multiple sessions with their pet to learn consistency that will be applied in a foreign environment or at home. When the pet owners are present, it allows them to learn tips and tricks from other dog owners and from the instructor that can be applied when faced with unique challenges.
Group training camps are the more affordable option for most pet owners. This opens the door for many who are working with a smaller budget.
Private Training Camps
Private training camps work differently than group training camps. Apart from the added costs to participate in one of these classes, private training camps give your pet the full attention of their instructor without the distraction of other people or dogs.
These classes work great for dogs who are easily distracted or who have intensive goals or needs. Although eventually working them up to respond to commands with distractions is ideal, not all dogs can start there.
When they are working with a trainer alone, they will receive the individual attention they need to build the discipline and understanding needed to successfully respond as desired.
Additionally, pets who do not work well with other dogs or show signs of aggression towards other dogs might benefit from private training camps. If your dog generally reacts strongly towards others, however, it might be best to get to the root cause of their responses and work with a private trainer either at home or in another facility before considering a dog training camp.
Since not all dogs learn the same way — just like people — private training can help those who need just a little more attention than they would in a group environment.
Training Camps Are Not For Everyone
Dog owners should know that group environments may not work for all dogs. If your dog suffers from chronic separation anxiety, responds defensively, or does not like other dogs, a training environment might not be the right fit for them.
Look for Quality When You Choose a Dog Training Camp
As a dog owner, it is your job to look and choose the best option to train your furry best friend. While dog training camps are a great option for many pet owners, not all are designed the same. Making sure that the dog training camp you choose is safe, clean, and treats your pet well is important as part of the vetting process to find the right fit for you.
At Greenlin Pet Resorts our dog training programs are made with you and your pets needs in mind with courses designed for dogs of any breed and age. Learn more about our program and how we approach dog training on our website and reach out to one of our six Harrisburg area locations if you are ready to set up your first free evaluation.