Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Did you train your dog yourself or go to lessons?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Rubynoodles, Nov 3, 2012.


  1. Rubynoodles

    Rubynoodles PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    So we have a new 5 month old puppy.

    Obviously like most people I want a well behaved dog and am prepared to put in the effort with training etc.

    Ideally I would like to take him along to training lessons. However, I have contacted all of the dog trainers in my area and the cheapest are over £100 for 8 weeks and I just can not afford that at the moment.

    So we will have to go it alone and try to do it ourselves with some books and dvds.

    Does anyone have any tips or can you recommend any good books, dvds or websites.

    Thanks
     
  2. Bobbie

    Bobbie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Messages:
    4,484
    Likes Received:
    762
    Wow thats a bit much to pay for dog/puppy training when I went with my boy you paid each night it was £3.00. What breed have you got as some dogs learn quicker than others.
     
  3. BobbyBrownDog

    BobbyBrownDog PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    1
    Have you checked if your local council run any classes? they normally work out cheaper and run from a community centre or something similar.
     
  4. Sleeping_Lion

    Sleeping_Lion Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    21,576
    Likes Received:
    663
    That's only about £12.50 (I think, maths isn't my strong point) per lesson, which if it is a good lesson with small class sizes, isn't too much.

    I did go to lessons with Indie and Tau and have done a few informal lessons/courses with the other two, but the main bonus of good classes is actually learning yourself how to be a handler, how to read your dog, learn how to motivate them and get them working with you. When I first started I had absolutely appalling timing and was a bit embaressed to make a fool of myself, both have improved considerably!
     
  5. Luz

    Luz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,562
    Likes Received:
    81
    I have got a Dogs Trust training DVD which I got from training classes which is really good for the basics. It may be available from their website?
     
  6. paddyjulie

    paddyjulie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    13,867
    Likes Received:
    826
    Lessons with Chester.. his puppy classes worked out at about £10 a week, but this was for a very small class of no more than 6 dogs.

    Chester has been the only dog I heve ever been able to let off the lead, and this is all down to going to classes, as it made me keep up with the training everyday.

    and we still go now , he is 19 months old
     
  7. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Ideally you always train the dog yourself. What lessons provide is mainly:
    1) someone knowledgeable watching you interact with your dog to give you pointers, and
    2) a distracting but controlled environment where you can practice having your dog to listen to you even in the face of distractions.

    I don’t know about pricing there, but here in the US many shelters and rescues give reduced priced basic manners classes in an attempt to keep dogs in their homes. Maybe check in to some alternatives?
     
  8. melbury

    melbury PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Messages:
    10,314
    Likes Received:
    1,195
    trained tilly myself lucky where i live lots of fields and open spaces good luck
     
  9. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Messages:
    15,187
    Likes Received:
    8,996

    Did you not consider the cost of training classes prior to purchase? Did you not go and visit any classes to determine which, if any, suit your outlook?

    Many people train their dogs very successfully on their own, others go to classes and some do a mixture.
     
  10. Pindonkey

    Pindonkey PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    5
    I trained my dog by myself from the day we got him.

    He has never stepped foot in a training class and,if i do say so myself, i think he is pretty well trained. He knows all his basics very well (recall could still use a little bit more work though around distractions) and he knows well over 25 tricks and counting.


    I don't think classes are really necessary if you are willing to work hard yourself and in this day and age there are thousands of YouTube videos, web articles, books and DVDs on nearly every area of dog training you could think of.

    I really recommend the KIKOPUP channel on YouTube. She is a brilliant trainer and uses only the best positive training methods and she has videos on lots of things!
    For a good book on training basics I've read is 'how to train a Superdog' by Gwen Baily and one which i have on the way to me at the moment is 'train your dog like a pro' by Jean Donaldson and i have only ever heard praise about that book.

    I also like 'Clever Dog' by Sarah Whitehead and 'The dog vinci code' by John rogerson. They are great reads,but not exactly a step by step training book.
     
  11. Rubynoodles

    Rubynoodles PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks all,

    I'll will look into possible classes run by local councils or rescue centres.

    Pindonkey - I am a big fan of youtube and have already looked at several videos on there will look for the KIKOPUP one and have already ordred Gwen baileys book from the library.

    I am a SAH mum so have lots of time to train the dog myself but as he is a jack russell/border terrier cross I wondered if I might need a little guidance as I have heard they can be quite willful & tricky to train :)
     
  12. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    15,301
    Likes Received:
    7,118
    Would definitely recommend Train Your Dog Like a Pro by Jean Donaldson. Has step by step guides to teaching basic behaviours like sit, down, stay, come etc. Might also be worth looking into When Pigs Fly by Jane Killion which is aimed at those with less biddable breeds.

    My current dog hasn't set foot in a training class as I can't find one that uses methods I agree with. However he's my 4th dog and my previous 3 all went to classes at some point. I'd take Spencer to classes if I could find one, I enjoy them and find them useful for getting them used to working with other dogs around.
     
  13. Rubynoodles

    Rubynoodles PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Sarah will look at those :)
     
  14. GingerRogers

    GingerRogers PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Messages:
    6,664
    Likes Received:
    148
    I second the pigs fly book (especially with a terrier ;)) its actually well written and an interesting read and you may find yourself chuckling as you recognise some of your dogs traits.

    However I also recommend classes, personally I thought I could sort out our new dogs training myself but as one of those 'less biddable' dogs and one who at 14 months had had no training and has developed some 'issues' I find them invaluable (if not stressful :eek:) just for my own confidence. We are lucky though as there is a volunteer led group thats £25 for 8 weeks, I understand your reluctance at £100 as I balked at the prices of other courses as well, however having been to classes I would now pay what it takes - for the experience of the trainers, the confidence building, the re-inforcment of the training methods to my OH ;), and the socialisation.
     
    #14 GingerRogers, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012
  15. Rubynoodles

    Rubynoodles PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just found classes a couple of towns away and I can pay per class-happy Days:)
     
  16. Pindonkey

    Pindonkey PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    5

    I have a beagle,one that came from working backgrounds,and i managed to do it.
    And you always have us on here too. ;)

    Of course if you can find a decent training class then I'd probably give it a go,if its a pay on the day type on then you could do a few classes on and off,even if just to socialize or train in a more distracting place.


    I didn't go to any classes because there are none and because if there was it was way too much or too far away,but given the chance to go to one every now and then i would have taken it,just for the experience. :)

    Another book i have is 'complete puppy school' by Quixi Sonntag. I got it just for reading but its a fairly good book.
    And i also have the Dummies book for my breed (the beagle) and its actually pretty good. They probably do a BC or JR one too so it might be worth a look. ;)
     
  17. andythebus

    andythebus PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    1
    I've had three dogs in all and have successfully trained all of them.
    Intelligent breeds are the easiest to train as they pay attention are are not so easily distracted.
    At the moment we have a lancashire heeler and he has been the most challanging. He's very intelligent but also can be preoccupied. This is something you are just going to have to live with. He trys his best to be a good boy but at the end of the day he is a terrier type!!:crazy:
    Before this we had a welsh border collie and a rough scottish collie. Welsh border was the easiest. He just wanted to be kept busy anyway. The lassie dog was fairly good too but not as intelligent as the border collie.
    All the dogs have learned to come when called,sit,stay,lay down,fetch a ball and go away on command.The heeler does it when he's ready but he's a good boy.
    All in all, the dogs are safe off the lead and when faced with some danger ahead do come when called.

    TIPS:
    Keep commands short and simple. Use the same words at all times.
    Whistles should mean the same thing to him/her too.
    Words our dogs understand are.( I've boldened the letters that need to be emphasised)
    sit. To get him to sit
    DowN. To get him off the furniture or to roll over for a treat
    WaiT. To get him to stop
    Here. To recall him
    seek To tell him it's ok to investigate
    No To tell him it's not ok to investigate

    Tone of voice is very important. Learn to growl the no commands and sweeten the positive commands.
    i.e growl "down" for getting him off furniture but sweeten the same word for performing a trick.

    Be Consistant:
    In the beginning keep the words the same and use plenty of praise or a treat to keep him right. He'll remember words quickly and you should see progress.Keep persisting with the same commands and whistles and dont change them for something else like "STOP" for wait or "Dont"for No......etc.you'll just confuse him/her.
    You dont say what sort of breed you have.A Toy breed would be a nightmare and would probably require and expert IMO. Working/utillity dogs would be the easiest.One of the easiest commands is the "Go Away" command all dogs seem to know this from birth.Try this one yourself when he is by your side. Dont forget to use a tone that says "i mean it!"

    Remember that dogs are not people. All to often i've seen little old ladies try to control their darlings with "dont be a silly girl" etc when No would be more effective.
    Good luck with your efforts and keep us all :)posted
     
  18. Sarah1983

    Sarah1983 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Messages:
    15,301
    Likes Received:
    7,118
    I found myself rolling my eyes a lot reading it but then I own a breed who apparently just hangs around and waits to be told what to do. Apparently my collie never got that memo, think he must have been a bull terrier in a collie suit coz I certainly recognised most of the traits. But yeah, very good book and the methods she uses are useful even with the more biddable dogs.
     
  19. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    Karen Pryor Don't Shoot the Dog will tell you about clicker training. I would say DVD's of Victoria Stilwell's shows but she mostly sorts out problems, not trains dogs from scratch.

    I have never been to training classes, I just treat my dogs like I do my kids. It seems to work. Just remember that most dogs will do anything for their favour tasty treat, even super stubborn Ferdie.

    As to the training classes you have found, please go without the dog the first week and watch what goes on, make sure the person in charge is up to date. Any mention of a pack leader or a dominant dog, run like hell.

     
  20. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    I loved When Pigs Fly :) Jane Killion has a Pigs Fly FB group too.

    I don’t find “intelligent” dogs easier to train. Biddable dogs, yes. Intelligent ones? Debatable.
    I also don’t know that tone of voice has anything to do with anything. I’m generally the odd man out in the obedience ring when I sing song “stay” to my dog during group stays, but seeing as mine doesn’t break and ones who are growled at do, I’m inclined to think that how a cue is trained and proofed is more of an indicator of how well it will be followed than how it is said to the dog.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice