We've put together the most frequently asked questions about dog training classes and balanced training, so check here if you are unsure about something!
Q: How old should my puppy be to start obedience training?
A: Puppies can start formal obedience training between 8 and 12 weeks of age. This time in their life is very important for socializing, and you can train them before any bad habits are learned.
Q: Is my dog too old to be trained in obedience or to fix a behavioral problem?
A: "You can't teach a dog new tricks" is just a wives' tale! A dog is never too old to be trained. We have had many older dogs who excel in obedience training with the balanced method, and who are trained out of behavioral issues (including barking, chewing, nipping, jumping and aggression).
Q: Do you recommend group lessons or private lessons?
A: In general, we always recommend group lessons over private lessons for both puppies and older dogs. Dogs need constant socializing, and a group class will also give you the opportunity to train your dog/puppy to obey under distractions.
Q: How big should group dog training classes be?
A: Class sizes should be no larger than 10 to 12 dogs, so that it is less overwhelming for the dogs. It also gives your trainers the chance to work more individually with you to ensure that you get the most out of the course. There should be at least 1 trainer to every 5 dogs and students.
Q: I don't want my dog to become reliant on treats to listen to me. Does the balanced training method use a lot of treats in training?
A: No. Most balanced trainers use about 5% treat rewards and 95% verbal and physical praise. This way, you never have to worry about weaning your dog off of treats in training. Your dog learns to listen to regardless of whether or not you have a treat in your hand!
Q: Do balanced training methods work for all breeds of puppies and dogs?
A: Yes! We have seen immense success in using balanced training with many breeds and temperaments of dogs, including: Shih-tzu, Min-Pin, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Chihuahua, Beagle, Malamute, French Bulldog, Australian Shepherd, Sharpei, Jack Russell Terrier, Labrador Retriever, Weimeraner, Poodle, Boxer, Border Collie, West Highland Terrier, Golden Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Great Pyrenees, Pug, Sheltie, Bichon Frise, Bernese Mountain Dog, English Bulldog, Doberman, Saint Bernard and of course, all types of mixed breeds!
Q: Will the Novice Level (or basic obedience) be enough to teach my dog or puppy everything they need to know?
A: Basic obedience courses are designed to be an excellent foundation for your dog. We recommend continuing with training past this level. Basic obedience will teach your dog on leash obedience, while the Intermediate and Advanced Levels focus on further distances and off leash work.