Choosing The Right Obedience School

Dog obedience -- a conversation you may want to have with your vet

By Dr. Carolyn Thorne, DVM

Most puppies need obedience training. When you think about it, your furry little friend is very much like a newborn—he basically only knows when he’s hungry, when he needs to “go outside” and when he needs to sleep. He’s also so full of energy, that his needs might override your planned schedule and desire to keep your house in one piece.

Some experts even recommend sending dogs to obedience training every few years, if behavioral problems arise or a move disorients your pet.

So, how do you choose the right obedience school for your pup? I understand that the decision can be overwhelming—it’s a lot like choosing the right child daycare.

Getting a recommendation from your veterinarian is a great place to start.  Contact us for an appointment -- would be happy to evaluate your puppy or dog and make a recommendation to get you started in the right direction.  Pet Providers in Westwood is run by Susan Lowell and has an excellent reputation (we have her business cards at our clinic).  Also, my friend Michelle Welch owns Turn Around Training in Norwood.  I cannot speak highly enough of Michelle and her program.   

When searching yourself, you’ll want to make sure the trainer offers the services you need—individual, group, basic obedience or more—and that they are certified from the Council for Professional Dog Trainers. You’ll also want to note their years of experience (it should be a few!) and any customer reviews or recommendations on sites such as Yelp, Angie's List, or Facebook.

You need to visit the center and meet with the trainer(s) before you commit. You want your pup to be trained by someone with whom you both have a good rapport. You may also want to ask if you can observe a class on your own, to see how the trainer works with her furry clients and how they respond to her.

Choosing the right obedience training is crucial for success, so take your time and make a choice that feels best to you!  Call us at 781-686-9337 -- we will be happy to help you.