Avoid Group Dog Training Classes

We are often asked about group dog training or puppy training classes at Central Coast: Off Leash K9 Training.

We observed several different styles of training programs and believe personalized training is the most effective. What attracts people to groups classes is typically a lower price point. A group lessons trainer charges multiple people per hour versus one person. Saving money on group classes may not equal receiving the same effectiveness of a private, personalized dog training program.

Most dog training classes have a standard “cookie-cutter” approach to training everyone’s dogs. The trainer typically says, “All of your dogs need to to this to achieve this goal.” Each dog and owner learns at different rates, making an adaptive training methodology the most effective. We are able to tailor our feedback and training to both the owner and the dog.

Secondly, the most “problematic” dog (or sometimes owner!) in group classes tend to receive the most attention. This often leaves the rest of the owners and dogs without the full attention of the instructor. This leads to diminished training and results, despite the group trainers best efforts.

Group classes highly distract dogs, which reduces teaching and learning. Dogs are highly distracted by other dogs, people or noises (barking), etc.  This is counterproductive and not impactful to learning. Imagine if you attended your first guitar lesson and showed up to eight other people surrounding you: all talking, playing their guitars, adjusting their volumes and vying for the attention of ONE instructor. Sounds pretty hard, right? This is similar to the world of group dog training classes.

Dogs are trying to learn and we want them to be high focused, not highly distracted. At our dog obedience training classes in Monterey, Capitola and Gilroy we do the opposite. We get your dog focused, then phase in distractions. We found this approach much more effective versus trying to teach them when they are distracted from the start. Have them master the commands, then layer in distractions.