There is hardly anything that the dog experts argue as bitterly as about dog training. Some swear by praise and blame, others by reward and punishment. Some promise the correction of problem dogs without any violence. Clicker training, team tests, the Augsburg model … More and more methods promise ever greater success. But what works miracles for one, disturbs the other, dog as well as human. That is why every dog school and every training method has as many ardent supporters as bitter opponents. Therefore, do not blindly follow every recommendation, but only decide where you want to learn after a thorough examination. In addition to the official dog schools, most dog associations (including mixed breeds or other breeds) offer lessons. There are also crash or intensive vacation courses. Before you book, you should either take a taster course or attend a few lessons as a spectator.
But even if you have found the right dog school and the right course, this is by no means a guarantee of a perfectly trained dog. A frequent phenomenon is that the dogs show perfect manners under the guidance of the trainer in the dog school and mutate back into “wild Willi” outside the area. Then something went wrong: on the one hand, the dog trainer took over the role of the pack leader – at least in the eyes of the dog. That should not happen. The dog trainer is meant to show you how the training works, but not to give you the alpha animal. Is it up to you? Do you hold back too much and let the professionals do everything? Or is the trainer really out to demnostrate his superiority instead of imparting training techniques? Both of these require correction from you. Do more or find another dog school.
Another – and much more common – reason for the problem is that many dog owners neglect training outside of the dog school or, contrary to the instructions of the dog trainer, do not do it at all. They rely on the hours in the dog school being enough to give the dog the necessary knowledge. Result: The dog remembers that he has to obey in the dog school, but otherwise nothing has changed and acts accordingly. Only one thing can help against this: train what you have learned again and again outside of the dog school.
Be honest with yourself: Do you want a dog that “sprints”, do you want a cuddler who should be able to do a few basic commands, do you dream of an “employee” who is supposed to bring it to sporting honors? Make an honest assessment: How much time will you have to practice with your dog every day after class? Will you continue to be the “legal guardian” or will you hand it over to your partner, children or parents? Are you a soft guy or are you consistent? Do you want to understand the theoretical background for every exercise or is it enough for the dog to do what you want at the “push of a button”? And, most importantly: what type of dog is your dog? Does he fully accept you? Or does he make fun of you, enforce his wishes? Is he shy to fearful or bursting with strength and self-confidence? Does he react more to words than to gestures? Is he getting distracted or can he concentrate? When you have clarified all of these points, start looking for your tailor-made course: the teacher / trainer should be similar in type to you, perhaps taciturn like you or vivacious gesticulating because you are too. Why is that so important? Because you can then imitate him more easily and subconsciously “inherit” his assertiveness. If you practice in a group, also look for one with dogs that are similar in type to your four-legged friend. Not necessarily in size or race, but in character.
Dog clubs & schools