First, I always say, “I have never seen a dog that impressed me in obedience that did it through group training or group sessions.” I have said this for years, and to this day, I have NEVER been proven wrong.
As the owner of a major dog training business, we could do group classes and we could charge 10 people per hour verse 1 person per hour, it would be great for business; however, I know that we wouldn’t put out QUALITY dogs by using this approach. That is why I have always and will always refuse to do group classes. I would much rather put out quality than quantity.
When doing private dog training lessons, the trainer can actually customize the training to your specific dog, your specific dog’s issues, and tailor the program to how your dog is actually responding to the training.
“Cookie cutter” programs never work really well; meaning, there are 10 dogs in the room and one trainer is saying, “Everyone do it like this.” Dogs are much like people, they learn differently, at different paces, and learn better with different styles. So, if you are in a group class and your dog is accelerating, you will be left waiting around for everyone to catch up; however, if your dog is slower, he/she will get left behind because the instructor has to keep the pace of the class.
At our dog obedience training in Northern Virginia, we get your dogs amazing in obedience on their own, and then we add in distractions. Whereas group classes “try” to get your dogs to learn new things, while they are highly distracted, this is a very unfair approach of training the dogs.
Also, in private training sessions, YOU have the trainer’s undivided attention. You can ask as many questions as you want, you don’t have to spend an hour “waiting your turn,” and you get a wealth of knowledge about other dog training issues specific to YOUR dog during your private session.
So, if you want your dog to get the most effective training and results, stick to private training sessions over group classes. Group classes are good for socialization with people and other dogs; however, they are not a conducive learning environment for the dog.
Being around almost every style of training program, I have yet to be impressed with group classes or group training sessions. As I say on a daily basis at our private dog training sessions in Northern Virginia, “I have never seen a dog that impressed me in obedience, that did it through group classes.”
The attractiveness that usually allures people to group classes is that fact that they are much cheaper than private lessons with your dog. It’s very simple, the trainer is charging 10 people per hour verse 1 person; therefore, the classes are much cheaper. However, saving money on the classes is also effecting the effectiveness of the dog training program, as well.
The first problem with group classes is that one or two trainers are trying to use a “cookie-cutter” approach to training everyone’s dogs. They are saying, “All of you do this with your dog in order to achieve this goal.” However, dogs are much like people, they all learn slightly differently, need adaptive training methodology, will have different issues while learning something new, etc.
The second problem with group classes is that you will generally find the most “problematic” dog in the group will get the most attention, leaving the majority of the dogs lacking on full attention because the trainers are devoting the majority of their attention to the dog who needs it the most.
The third problem with group classes is you are trying to teach the dogs while they are highly distracted by other dogs, people, noises (barking), etc. In my opinion, this is very unfair to the dogs and is not a conducive learning environment whatsoever. Imagine if you have never played the guitar before, you show up to learn to play for the first time, and there are 8 other people surrounding you: talking, trying to play their guitars, adjusting their volumes, and messing with you while ONE instructor was trying to walk you through the chords. Sounds impossible, right? Welcome to the world of group classes for dog training.
The dogs are trying to learn, while they are highly distracted. We at our dog training obedience program in Northern Virginia, we do the opposite! We get your dog flawless outside, off-leash, on his/her own, then we slowly phase in distractions. This is much more effective than trying to “teach” your dog while they are distracted. Get them to master the commands, then add in the distractions. This can be read about in our blog on Working Your Dog with Distractions.
People ask us all of the time, “Will shock collar training hurt my dog?” Or, “Will shock collar training ruin my dog’s personality and turn him into a robot?”
All of these statements and questions could not be further from the truth.
Anytime I hear the term, “Shock Collar, ” it literally sends chills down my spine. The term comes from the very old collars which essentially had 3 settings, “High,” Very High,” and “Insanely High.” Those type of collars are outdated, inhumane, and no longer produced. However, modern electronic collars do not “shock” at all, they provide a very subtle stimulation that many people equate to “stim” pads that physical therapists use. Additionally, modern collars have a very wide pattern of stimulation that is safe, humane, and effective for dogs as small as 5lbs. If you visit on YouTube Channel, you will see everything from Yorkies to Great Danes that we have trained using our electronic collar training system.
When electronic collar training is properly done, it is used to achieve amazing obedience, build confidence, and create more happiness with the owner and more importantly, the dog. For example, check out this video of this 5-month old very shy/skittish Doberman “Doris” that we just recently trained using e-collar training. Ask yourself, which dog looks more happy, confident, and have more personality, the Doris before or after?
My business, Off-Leash K9 Training, we are the official trainers for ABC’s the Pet Show, on Board of Directors for Prince William County Humane Society, Official Trainers for Southeast German Shepherd Rescue, Official Trainers for Fort Hunt Animal Hospital and many many more.
Why? Simply because all of these organizations have seen first-hand the work we have done changing problematic, aggressive, and low confidence dogs into highly confident, obedient, and problem-free dogs.
Think about it, the top special forces military and law enforcement agencies in the world use electronic collar training, and that’s why they have the most obedient and confident dogs in the world.
Many people ask, “Will My Dog Hate the Electronic Collar?”
No! Almost everyone is VERY surprised that they receive quite the OPPOSITE reaction from their dog. Because the dog knows the e-collar means that they are going outside (to run, play ball, be free, etc) AND they know they are going to do training! A bored dog is a destructive dog; a trained/exercised dog is a HAPPY dog. They look forward to their training sessions because it stimulates them and gives them something to do. Imagine being at work on a slow day, the day drags and you feel sluggish. When you are busy, it goes by fast and you are energized! Now imagine a dog with no friends, no Facebook, no television, and no internet. Their only REAL stimulation is the training you give them and their time outside to run, play, and bond with you! As you will see in all of our videos, when we release the dogs the jump up excitedly and come over for their praise.
What does the ASPCA say about electronic training collars?
Randall Lockwood PhD, Senior Vice President, Anti-cruelty Initiatives and Legislative Services, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was quoted in a 2007 White Paper titled “The Facts About Modern Electronic Training Devices,” produced by Radio Systems, a manufacturer of electronic collars, “We recognize that older products were often unreliable and difficult to use humanely. But we feel that new technology employed by responsible manufacturers has led to products that can be and are being used safely and effectively to preserve the safety and well-being of many dogs and strengthen the bond with their human companions.
What if I have a small dog?
Modern electronic collars, have such a wide variety of range, they can literally be used on just about any size of dog. Check out this 6lb AGGRESSIVE Chihuahua that we just recently finished training with the electronic collar. Again, ask yourself which dog appears to be happier, more confident, and more stable: the dog before or the dog after?
Ignorance on electronic collar training:
I have seen a lot of ignorance on electronic collar training, myths, and things that are just completely untrue. When I read these, it’s immediately apparent that these individuals have no knowledge whatsoever in the practical application of ecollars nor any practical knowledge of dog training. Recently, I saw someone say, “There is never a good reason to use one, I do not know any real trainers that use electronic collars.” I literally laughed to myself, did this person mean a “real trainer” as in a college kid who went to a Pet Smart training course on giving dogs hot dogs?
Because almost every REAL trainer I know DO use electronic collars. Many are my personal friends and who are widely considered some of the top dog trainers in the world (Trainer Michael Ellis, Andrew Ramsey (former Lead Trainer at Lackland AFB), Bob Solimini (Most Accomplished French Ring Decoy in the US), my good friends at Vohne Liche Kennels (show “Alpha Dogs” and official training hub for the majority of the military and law enforcement agencies, in the United States), Las Vegas PD, US Secret Service, US Navy Seals, and the list goes on and on.
**So, I would love to see who the “REAL” trainers are that do not use them!** 🙂
Let’s think about that for a minute, we have already discussed that the most confident, obedient, and well trained dogs in the world are who? Military Special Forces Dogs, Police Dogs, and Ring Sport Dogs (Mondio, ScH, French Ring, etc), almost ALL of them use electronic collars for their training and not one of them solely use positive reinforcment. Literally, not one. Amazing, right? The most obedient, confident, and well trained dogs in the world do NOT use the methods they are preaching, but all of them use the training methods they are speaking out against.
Dogs are much like children, you need a “balanced” approach of training. I have never seen a dog (or a child) that completely amazed me in listening (outside, off leash, distractions, etc) that did it “solely” through a positive reinforcement.
Additionally, we fix and train dogs every single day that “other trainers” could not fix (like Izzy and Doris in the videos above). Where would these dogs be now (and many others) if it were not for electronic collar training? We have been many dogs (and owners) last hope, where other trainers told them they couldn’t be fixed, behaviorists told them to euthanize them, etc. All because of these individuals ignorance, they almost ruined a dog’s (and their families) life.
In summary, if you want to build a closer bond, give your dog off-leash obedience (freedom) in any environment, and build your dog’s confidence to a high-level, I would recommend training with an electronic collar. The key is to seek out professional guidance from a certified trainer in this specific training system. Unfortunately, when it comes to using a training collar, there is no “trying,” you are either an expert and will make your dog amazing, or you have no idea what you are doing and will probably cause many problems with your dogs.
Anyone who has gone through our training knows that most of electronic collar training is teaching the owner how to PROPERLY use it, how to properly train the dog, and knows there are many “ins and outs” to the system. It is MUCH more than simply pressing a button and giving a command.
So please seek professional help before using an electronic collar to train your dog.
At Off-Leash K9 Training, we are considered the best dog training program in Virgina and even far beyond, as you will see in our reviews, 400+ videos, and celebrities who have flown their dogs to us from all throughout the United States.
What Can You Expect during Dog Training?
Are you excited to have your dog trained? We are too! So you will know what to expect, read the following:
Your dog will be off the leash.
As much as possible, we want you to feel comfortable and secure that your dog is not on a leash. It is a win-win situation for you both: your dog can have a lot of time and space for himself or herself while you do not have to worry about your dog’s getting lost. He or she easily responds to your commands.
However, we are also aware that almost all dogs do not react to commands when they come to us. So we are going to let the dogs wear an e-collar. This is a special device that works similarly like an electronic fence. Using a remote control, it generates a beep or a vibration (picture a ringing phone). It is a way of communicating to the dog and catching his or her attention to the training, you can see over 400+ dogs we have trained on our youtube channel.
The e-collar won’t hurt them at all.
Many people refer to it as a “shock collar” which always send chills down our spine, it does not “shock” at all, it’s a very subtle stimulation (like stim pads physical therapists use). We actually make every client of ours try it on their first lesson, they are always pleasantly surprised on how subtle it really is. In fact, when a dog is properly trained, they are eager to wear them and become excited when they see them. This is because they have learned to associated the e-collar with lots of time outside, training, and play. See our blog posting on, “Will the ecollar hurt my dog?”
Your dogs are trained by professionals.
Our dog training Northern Virginia is now found across the country. We already have trained and licensed dog trainers, so all you have to do is to contact us so we can give you the best persons or training school to talk to. Though you can buy DVDs and other training materials for dog modification behavior, personal trainings are still the best. The trainers can easily adjust or even customize the sessions according to different factors such as your own schedule, the dog’s temperament, etc. We have trained the dogs of some of the top celebrities in the country, as you can see on the testimonials page of our website. We range from former military, law enforcement, and private sector experience, as well.
There are different packages to choose from.
Our Northern Virginia dog training includes various packages like the Basic Obedience Starter Package, which already includes individual lessons and some tools for training. This costs $350. After that, the succeeding sessions will be worth $100 only. There are also some advanced lessons. We can recommend the best package for you based off of your needs and expectations.
We can also train puppies.
In fact, we highly recommend our puppy training Northern Virginia. We want to make sure that your puppy grows up following only the correct behaviors. We train puppies as young as 5 months old; however, we also has a special Virginia puppy training for those that are below such age. Instead of an e-collar, we’re going to use marker and treat training to begin shaping your dog’s behaviors at a young age.
You will play a huge role during the training.
Hey, it’s your dog, after all. We make sure that our leash training in Northern Virginia includes the owner. You can watch at first, and as the sessions go on, you will then take the lead. Our clients love this setup as they can also bond some more with their dogs.