Training classes abound! Puppy classes, kindergarten, basic, levels to progress through, advanced, shy dog classes, aggressive dog, boot camps, the list is quite long, and classes are as ingenious as your imagination. I wanted to find out what it would cost to train a dog to a certain level of training and then answer the question “How does my training program compare?”.
So I had to establish a ‘control’. I have a 5 month old puppy, a bit aggressive, and I want to get as much training as I need to have control of him when I don’t have a leash on him. Since my training program has a definite goal in mind, OFF LEASH control, I had to sort through class to come up with equivalents to find out how much it would cost, and how long it would take?
Before we do the comparison, you may be asking “Why OFF LEASH control, when most municipalities have leash laws?” Okay, fair enough!
The average dog owner does not keep their dog on the leash 24/7 around the house, and this is where most problems occur, right?
So when he’s in the trash, lunging at other dogs, barking at the window, marking on furniture, or jumping on visitors is he wearing his leash? No. And when he darts out the door and you try to call him back, does he stop to put his leash on first? No.
Having control when your dog is off leash should be THE criteria for whether a dog is trained or not! But that’s my opinion and the description of ‘trained’ is certainly subjective, and is as varied as the trainers available, so how do we define ‘trained’?
The American Kennel club has had criteria set since 1936, in their AKC novice routine. So let’s use that! Heel on lead and off leash, automatic sit, sit stay for one minute, down stay for three minutes, stand for examination, and recall off lead.
Those are the ‘fancy’ terms, and you don’t ever plan to show your dog? Right? No problem, here’s your translations….
Formal “HEEL” means walk with me not in front of me, without pulling and pay attention to me.
“AUTOMATIC SIT” and SIT/STAY for 1 minute means sit nicely to greet visitors and don’t move or jump on them, and learn some self control for at least one minute.
DOWN and DOWN/STAY for 3 minutes means lay down and stay put until I call you. Take a nap if you want.
STAND FOR EXAM means let the vet examine you calmly, and let’s make our groomer happy.
Finally the RECALL OFF LEAD means come when I call you when you dart out the door after the cat! Sounds more like what your really wanting, right?
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