"Choosing an Obedience School:
Questions We Should Ask" *
are often left to their own devices when it comes to finding a Training Programme
for their dogs. Because they have no idea what defines a "good"
programme, they have no idea what to look for, and therefore make their choices based
on parameters they DO understand: convenience, price, and distance from home.
There are, however, many important factors that should be considered, so that you will
make an informed decision and give yourself the best chance possible to have a rewarding
and successful training experience.
Here are some of the things you should consider:
- Who are the Instructors and how long have they been instructing?
- Where did they learn their methods, when, and from whom?
- What is the philsophy behind their method?
- What methods do they use? ie., motivation training, lure/reward, jerk and praise, clicker training, operant conditioning
- What dogs have they personally trained, in what activities, and to what level of accomplishment?
- What dogs do they own or have they owned personally, over how long?
- Are they members of the CKC or CAPPDT (Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers)?
- What other qualifications do the instructors have? ie., pet first aid training, vet tech, psychology, author, breeder, obedience competitor, show handler, or judge
- What breeds have they had attend their classes?
- What books do they recommend you read about training?
- What types of problems have they helped their students solve successfully ie, aggression to the owner, children, people generally, other dogs, digging, barking, jumping on people, destructive chewing, etc.
- How long did it take to solve the problem and what did it cost the student?
|*Many Thanks to Grace McDonald for granting permission to publish
excerpts from her article "Educating Your Puppy Buyers About Choosing An Obedience School
(Questions to ask of an obedience school when planning to take lessons),"
originally published in the Labrador Retriever Club of Canada's LRCC News, June 2001
With your first call to the WINNIPEG K9 EDUCATION CENTRE...
..... you will be put in touch with informative, professional people.
Everyone from the instructors, assistants and office manager have trained at the
Winnipeg K9 Education Centre. Each instructor has taught at one or more schools, and the
shortest teaching time any one instructor has is ten years.
Each instructor has obtained the highest level of obedience, the Canadian Kennel Club
UTILITY title. As well, each instructor and assistant is involved in another area beside
obedience, such as conformation, tracking, pet therapy, field trial, canine sports, and
can help direct you to other areas that will enrich your pet's life.
You will be encouraged to come and visit our classes. You are welcome to observe the
training, ask questions, and ask the current students their opinions of the school and
the instruction they receive. You may visit as many times as is needed to help you to
make an informed decision. The majority of our students are referred from previous
Family participation in the obedience and at class is encouraged for consistency in your canine's life.