You’ve no doubt heard of doggie boot-camp, a facility where dogs are dropped off for several weeks in order to become well-mannered pooches that will obey your every command (with minimal effort on your part). These services are expensive; but then so is hiring a home tutor to teach your pet the basics. And with a training school, you won’t be in the way, mucking up the works with your own personal ideas about what it means to train a dog. In fact, you won’t enter into the process until the very end, at which point you will be schooled on how to handle your pet (commensurate with the training they’ve already received). In short, it’s a relatively foolproof way to get your dog in line and ensure that he knows who’s boss. But training school may not be right for every pet, and you should take the time to consider if you’re really ready for a pet when you aren’t even willing to spend the time to train him properly. If you’re not sure about sending your dog to boot camp, here are a few things you may want to consider.
First and foremost, you should think about the disposition of your dog. If he is generally afraid of other animals, then he may not benefit from a situation in which he is surrounded by dogs. Or if he becomes extremely excitable when other animals are around (even going so far as to attack), then perhaps it’s best to hire the services of an in-home trainer, working other dogs into the scenario gradually. Many rescued animals have a fear of strangers or certain individuals (men with beards, for example), so forcing them into such a situation could have disastrous results. The point is, your dog may not fare well in a setting that involves a lot of new people and animals, especially if he’s older and used to your company. In this case, you can spare your animal a lot of anxiety by choosing another approach to training him.
You might also want to consider whether or not you are just being lazy. When you bring a pet into your home, he becomes your responsibility. Would you leave your child to be raised and taught exclusively by others? Hopefully not. Your dog deserves the same consideration. Anyone can learn the proper way to train a dog by simply picking up a book, looking for tutorials online, or watching a few episodes of The Dog Whisperer. If you refuse to do so, then it’s no wonder your dog is unruly! On the other hand, there are certainly situations in which a pet may simply be out of control. A dog that believes he is dominant may not respond well to your training tactics (no matter how sound) and it could become a real problem, especially if you have a large breed that can overpower you (pulling you along on walks and the like). In this case, a doggie boot-camp could be in order.
All in all, you will have to make a decision as to whether or not sending your dog to a training school is the right choice. But once you consider the disposition of your dog and your own commitment level to the process, as well as the relative difficulty of training your animal, you can easily make an informed decision about the best course of action. Just make sure you’re doing what’s best for both you and your animal so that you can enjoy a more fulfilling relationship in the long run.