Most people think of joining a regular weekly class when deciding to train their dog. While classes can be a great way to learn, they also have their drawbacks.
Dogs (and humans) learn best when they are relaxed and happy
For a novice dog, joining a group class, especially indoors, can be very exciting or very stressful. Either way, this is not a good state to be in for proper learning to take place. A dog who’s delighted to have so many new potential playmates to interact with, or a dog who’s horrified at being in a relatively confined space, held on a lead with no clear escape route is unlikely to learn what his handler was hoping he would learn. Many – but not all – humans tend to be competitive. Just think about the parents of primary school kids who are desperate for their little star to be the brainiest in class. This happens with dogs as well as children. Many handlers (confession I suffer from this as well) gauge how well a class went, not by what they learned, but how much better or worse their dog was compared to the know-all collie on the other side of the room.
Dogs do not ‘generalise’ what they learn very well
Unlike humans who can learn a skill in one place – a class room for instance – and then apply that skill elsewhere, dogs associate their learning with the place the lesson happened. A classic example of this is the dog who thinks the command ‘sit’ means ‘put my bum on the ground next to the fridge door in the kitchen’ because that is where the command was taught. When the dog is asked to sit in the park he doesn’t understand what his human is asking him to do. He thinks ‘I can’t see the fridge door, my human seems to have gone mad’. However we tend to assume that because Rover has a perfect sit at home, he’s being deliberately disobedient. Similarly, if Rover learns to walk nicely to heel in a church hall, he is unlikely to associate that behaviour with what his owner asks for while walking down the high street. Of course, so long as the owner knows she needs to reteach each behaviour in each environment, the dog will learn quickly. Once the basics are mastered at home, re-learning in a high pressure environment like a group training class is ideal, but learning from scratch in a group class can be a very inefficient way of going about things.
The Benefits of One to One Training
- One to one training allows you and your dog to focus on what you want to learn, in the environments that you want the skills to be used.
- One to one training is an ideal first stage for puppies and new rescue dogs.
- One to one training does not have to be during a fixed time slot each week.
- One to one training can be tailored to you and your dog’s individual needs.
- One to one training can be designed so that all the family to take part – important if the dog needs to be able to work with several humans.
Book One to One sessions with Gwent Dog Training
A single 1 hour session costs £45 with any subsequent 45 minute follow-up session fo £35. Alternatively you can book a set of 6 sessions to be taken at mutually convenient times within 6 months for £160, a saving of £60. Travel outside the Gwent area will be charged at 45 pence per mile.
All one to one booking come with a free six months of telephone support.
To book, or get more information, fill in the form below.