It is every child’s dream to own a dog. However, as parents constantly love to remind us, owning a pet is a responsibility in every sense of the word and one part of this responsibility is to properly train your dog. Studies have proven that a well-trained pet leads to a more behaviorally sound pet, which in turn results in a stronger bond. It also means you have a lot less to manage and will enjoy your experience of having a dog that much more, forming a strong bond with your pet in the process.
With the advent of the internet, one question pet owners ask themselves constantly is if it is better to take online courses on dog training rather than going to an organized class. It’s not difficult to find a listing of the best online dog training courses, but people do wonder whether the courses are even worth it. Today we’re going to go over the pros and cons of taking an online course and compare it with the experience of organized classes.
THE BENEFITS OF ONLINE COURSES
The first advantage anyone would notice with online classes is the flexible schedule. Even if you opt for home training instead of classes with a private trainer, you would still need to follow a schedule that suits both you and the trainer. With online courses, you can even sit down in the middle of the night to learn the best methods to train your dog.
The second advantage is the tailor-made approach that these online courses offer. You’ll be able to recognize and choose the best program for you based on your intended goals, whereas organized classes will have a fixed curriculum. If you want to work only on specific behaviors then online courses are a much better option as you would have to wait for organized classes to address your issue at the organizer’s pace. If you’re working on your goals at your pace, you’ll end up more satisfied with the outcome. If you have a puppy, you can start right away and you’ll also save it from catching any disease as it would be in a controlled environment.
THE CONS OF ONLINE COURSES
If you do opt for online courses, the biggest drawback your dog would experience is the lack of socialization. This could be detrimental as socialization with other dogs is very important for a dog’s development. You can’t even argue that it’s not too important as socialization plays a factor whether you have a dog for competition or just as a companion. If your dog isn’t socialized well then it would be unruly in any of these situations.
Working with your dog in isolation also means that your dog will not be listening to you in a chaotic situation, which can be critical at times.
GOING TO AN ORGANIZED CLASS
The biggest advantage of an organized class is that your dog would be learning to respond to basic commands a lot faster. This helps you manage your dog a lot more easily and it would be a lot easier to control at events and in public. Chances for the dog misbehaving are also significantly reduced meaning you’ll no longer have to lock your dog on his own when you have guests visiting for a party. While it may not seem important, simple behaviors such as your dog greeting someone, responding properly when called or walking safely in public, make a huge difference not only on your relationship with your dog but also on your dog’s emotional health.
Also, as discussed above socialization is very important when it comes to the development of a dog’s intelligence and emotions. In the normal course of life, your dog is bound to interact with other dogs and humans, which is why its important they learn to socialize at a young age. It would be safer to have your dog around family and friends.
Going to an organized class also means that you yourself have a chance of meeting new people from your peer group. Not only do you have an avenue to create new relationships, but you also end up learning a lot more when you share the experience of training a dog with someone else. It lets you grow as a person at the same time as it lets your dog develop.
The one big drawback of organized classes is the availability, schedule, and curriculum. There is no guarantee that you will find a class that fits your schedule and addresses your needs as a dog owner. This limitation is a very big factor in individuals opting for online courses instead. There is also a marked difference in the price points between the two methods, which of course is also another important factor to consider.
As you can see above, both methods of training your dog have their advantages and disadvantages. Online courses give you flexibility and tailor-made solutions whereas classes give you the socialization that is necessary for your dog and has the hands-on experience factor. Before you take any steps, it might be wise to consult with your local veterinary clinic who are bound to have knowledge on the matter and will be able to guide you better according to your dog’s needs.
What is important to remember is that you must make a decision that is best for you and, more importantly, your dog. You could end up choosing to take both approaches and nobody would blame you. Training a living being that is capable of thought and emotion takes some time and patience and you shouldn’t be hard on yourself or your dog for that. Either way, your priority should be to train your dog properly so you can truly form a bond with your pet and enjoy the experience. A well-trained dog also means that your pet is emotionally healthy and able to interact with other pets and humans in a safe and controlled manner at all times.