Dog Training 101: Choosing the Right Class

Types of Training Classes

Once your dog has completed his puppy training, he should have the basics down, but that’s no reason for him — or you — to stop learning. If you continue teaching him things throughout his life, you’ll help him stay mentally sharp and hopefully out of trouble.

“You need to find a class where you can problem-solve and apply what you learn in real life and in different situations,” Beckeradvises.

The following are some types of classes that may be offered by trainers in your areafor adult dogs. It's always a good idea tocheck with your vet before starting any new activities with your dog, especially activities that involve vigorous exercise.

AKC's Canine Good Citizen: Canine Good Citizen training classes teach the basics your dog needs to be safe and comfortable in public and then test your dog on it. The AKC has also just introduced Urban Canine Good Citizen for teaching and testing city skills for urban dogs.

Therapy dog classes: Teach your dog the skills he needs to make visits to nursing homes, hospitals, schools and other facilities.

Small dog classes: Focus on ways to handle and train small dogs, taking into account their size and personality.

Dog sports: These classes teach the basics of sports such as agility, herding, nose work, rally, Treibball, tracking and other sports.

Human sports: These classes can help both of you participate in standup paddleboarding,kayaking, running, hiking, camping, skijoring or another activity with your dog.

General fitness classes: Fun and safe ways to include your dog in your workout and give him a workout as well. These can even include dog yoga.

Training focusing on a specific situation: There are classes to help get a dog ready for a new baby or deal with other challenges.

Tricks and games: Focus on fun skills, such as roll over, sit up, shake, ring a bell and jump through a hoop.

One-off, drop-in classes: These often focus on a single behavior or command, such as come, stay, no jump or loose-leash walking.

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