All things in life need to grow and develop. This applies to our relationships as well. This also applies to our relationships with our dogs. Whether you have your furry best friend and need to plant the seeds of a harmonious long-term friendship, or you have been living together for a while, and would like to take your connection to the next level, most of us need guidance sometimes. And just like you would go to a specialist if you wanted more from your relationship with your spouse, you would go to a.. . Dog training school if you had to work on your relationship with your dog.
The question is, how can you find a good specialist? Now, if you were just feeling under the weather, then you’d probably go to a general practitioner. But what if you had a toothache? I bet you would go to a dentist instead! First, you need to decide whether you would like to work on general obedience, aggression, separation anxiety, or perhaps you want to take on therapy dog training or a protection dog training program. And then you must read on because we created a list of local hidden gems in San Diego area that specialize in exactly the kind of dog training courses you want!
Now, what forms of dog training schools are we going to look at exactly?
Dog Obedience Training
Aggressive Dog Training
Therapy Dog Training
Service Dog Training
We will also have a look at such training classes as a dog training camp, group classes, in home dog training and online dog training.
All of these gems have 5-star evaluations on Yelp, tons of happy clients and they’re local, oftentimes family-owned businesses, so that you can make terrific friends one of your neighbors while doing some training also!
First things first, there are plenty of alternatives out there in regards to dog training. How do you know which one is great for you? Here are 6 tips.
6 Tips For Picking the Right Dog Training School
1. Know The Dog Training Industry is Unregulated
That means that virtually anyone could call himself or herself a trainer, regrettably. However, there are certifications and organizations that can help you identify those who actually have the right designations and experience. Always check to see if the trainer has some of the following certifications: The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), The Academy for Dog Trainers (ADT), the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT KA), the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPAATB), or the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Being the primary educational organization for coaches, APDT has a very useful resource called Trainer Search that allows you to find trainers in your area according to your city or zip code. Amazing tool! Note that if a coach is certified by the APDT it does not necessarily imply that he or she uses a particular training method, which brings us to the next tip.
2. Know the Training Techniques Used
Now, all coaches have different training procedures, but here are a few fundamental things that would help you swim in the sea of coach jargon. There are currently 4 standard procedures of instruction that stem from behavioral psychology: positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment and negative punishment. Now, the words positive and negative aren’t representing the concept of”good and evil” here, they work more like they would in mathematics, with positive meaning addition and negative significance subtraction of something.
This is the most popular method now, and, sure enough, you are all familiar with it. Positive reinforcement has, at its center, rewarding a dog for desired behavior usually with a treat, a toy or play time, depending on what motivates your dog the most. The trick is to pick the right timing: just as your dog does the desirable behaviour, reward him or her right away, and supplement the treat with a high-pitched”good dog”, to make sure your pet realizes how pleased you are with this behavior. See how a treat is added here? This is the positive part, also.
This technique involves taking something disagreeable away to reinforce the desired behavior. That’s the way electrical fences work, for example. When a dog gets too near the perimeter, it receives a shock, but the shock disappears the moment the dog moves away from the border. In this manner, the dog learns to stay away from the perimeter. See the subtraction here – the disagreeable sensations are taken away to reinforce a behavior, this is negative reinforcement.
With punishment techniques, the trainer is attempting to make a particular behavior happen less often. With positive punishment, the coach adds some unpleasant stimuli to discourage a behaviour. With excessive barking, by way of instance, a trainer can add a spray bark collar to the practice, so that every time a dog barks, it gets sprayed. The dog will associate nuisance barking with being sprayed, and this will discourage them from barking all night again. Can you see how with this technique a coach would add (=positive) something to discourage a behaviour (=punishment).
This technique means taking something away (=negative) in order to discourage a behavior (=punishment). A good example would be if a coach turns away from a dog that is jumping on him or other people to get attention. He takes away the attention from the dog to discourage undesired behavior. This system is frequently used together with positive reinforcement to reduce the unwanted behavior and reinforce the desired behaviour.
Ah, that was quite a bit of information, right? Can it become somewhat clearer what the different training methods do? Great. There’s still much debate about the best training methods from the coaches’ world, but what you select remains up to you.
Now that you have learnt more about the behavioral psychology, how do you begin seeing some similarities between how we train dogs and the way the government trains us? On to the next tip.
Group Classes, Boot Camps, In House Training or even Skype chats – there’s every type of dog training you might need under the sun. Consider the benefits and drawbacks. With in house dog training the apparent advantage is that you will receive more personal attention. If your dog has any socialization problems, in home training will not be as effective as group dog training classes, where both you and your fido can learn to be around other dogs and work around so many tempting distractions. If you want your dog to have the experience of a complete immersion, then a dog training camp will be the best option. Whereas, if your budget is tight, online dog training might be the solution you are looking for. Deciding on the type of training you need will make the job of finding a great dog training school way simpler.
4. Watch a Class Before You Sign Up
As soon as you picked a class or a coaching school, take some time to come to one of those training sessions and just observe. Focus on the following:
How big is the class size and if you will be getting enough attention,
If puppies and adult dogs are trained individually,
How many degrees do the courses have (basic, intermediate, advanced),
The way the trainer interacts with the dogs,
How dogs respond to the training,
Whether everyone seems to be having fun and enjoying the process.
If you ticked all the checkboxes here, and are comfortable with the environment, you have found a good candidate.
5. Do not Forget About Vaccinations
Safety first! Ensure that your dog is properly vaccinated before you begin any dog training and get the green light from your veterinarian. Next, be sure that the training school requires every dog to be vaccinated and is requesting a proof. This way you can be certain that the safety component of your training is covered.
Now, what happens once you have completed the course? Do you receive a lifetime membership and can come any time for future”tune ups”, or are follow up visits limited? Maybe there are no follow up visits in case a problem does arise. Be sure to ask the school or the coach about what happens once you are done with their program.
Great, you are all set for the dog training school of your dreams. Now, we are introducing you to the 10 hidden gem colleges with 5-star Yelp ratings that specialize in the sort of dog training you are looking for.
Top 10 Dog Training School Hidden Gems in San Diego Region
The best time to begin training is when your pooch is between 3 and 14 months old, it does not indicate that your puppy does not learn well later, but it is just the juiciest time while he or she absorbs new tricks such as a sponge, so take advantage of this if possible! The next stage where pet owners often need assistance is the 6 months mark, when pups transition to adolescence, and this time is similar to the teenage years we have all been through – demanding.
1. Woofingham Palace – Puppy Training San Diego
It is a family-owned business run by Samantha & Jon Mears, who immigrated from London 11 decades ago. Therefore, the name of their dog training school. Samantha Mears is a certified professional dog trainer, who passed her CPDT KA (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainlines) examination with distinction. Samantha has worked with dogs daily for over 10 years. She is also a Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and is a qualified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG).
Woofingham Palace offers loads of different puppy training options for you and your pooch all held inside a fenced training area in the shade of large sails. The classes are small, so you will find that individual attention. This dog training school puts lots of emphasis on puppy socialization, and notes that pups who have been socialized young tend to show behavior problems in the future than those pups who haven’t. The costs for group puppy training classes vary from over $100 to over $300, so you have loads of options.
559 Union Street
Encinitas. CA 92024
2. Complete K9 Training – K9 Dog Training/ Dog Obedience Training San Diego
Now, an all 5-star hidden gem for dog obedience training in San Diego is Complete K9 Dog Training. Its trainer, Shannon, is a Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), and is CPDT Certified. She also holds a BA in Psychology and began training animals in 1991 in Sea World. Total K9 Dog Training offers a range of classes, but specializes in dog obedience training, both beginner and advanced.
Complete K9 Dog Training teaches the owners how to become excellent leaders for their dogs without using any intimidation or domination methods. They focus on building the communication and trust that would allow the dog to follow the owner… even when he or she doesn’t have that yummy food handy. Shannon puts a whole lot of focus of training the whole family on the best way best to work with their dog, as this strengthens the bond between all of the family members and ensures that everything a puppy learns at school will be further strengthened at home. The prices of classes vary, but the overall range is between $100 and $165 for group courses.
3. Think Pawsitive Dog Training – Service Dog Training and Therapy Dog Training
Interested in Therapy Dog Training/Service Dog Training? A service or therapy dog certification requires you to take numerous steps along the way. Think Pawsitive dog training school can help you throughout the procedure. She has been working with dogs since 2003.
What Think Pawsitive offers concerning service dog training and therapy dog training: it provides to help you with the whole process, from basic training to preparing and passing the CGC Certification and Therapy Pet Certification, which you must get in order for your dog to become a formal service/therapy dog. To start the program, your dog doesn’t need to be a specific breed or size, it ought to have a calm, friendly temperament. Therapy Dog Evaluations are $30, and Think Pawsitive offers extended discounts for referrals or recently adopted pets, so that you can email Vanessa right to find out more about the program and the pricing.
1273 Crest Dr.
Encinitas, CA 92024
949.533.4756Service area: San Diego + Orange County
4. Behave! – Aggressive Dog Training San Diego
Behave! – another hidden gem which specializes in aggressive dog training in San Diego. Its creator, Alexandra Gant, graduated from ACBDT animal behavior college, and because 2012 has been operating with”unworkable” or”last chance” dogs that are on the brink of being euthanized or re-homed as a result of aggression issues. Alex focuses on teaching owners in need of dog aggression training how to train the dog independently, without relying on specialist assistance. Behave! Trainers are knowledgeable about the various forms of aggression and believe that aggression is a symptom of a far deeper problem, so that they concentrate on fixing the problem, as opposed to simply the symptoms.
Behave! Realizes that dog aggression training is a big commitment, so it encourages all owners working with them to consider packages rather than sessions. The classes are $80-$125 Per Day, and they now offer a 10% package discount.
5. American Canine Training – Dog Protection Training San Diego
So you were looking for guard dog training in San Diego? We found a hidden gem for this also, all 5 stars – American Canine Training. Chris Moredock is the head trainer, certified by APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) and the Pro-train institute of California.
American Canine Training has several different choices when it comes to dog protection training. You may select Security Alert Training, which will teach your dog to be on the lookout for strangers and warn you if they’re up to something spooky. It will also teach your dog to stop aggressive responses on your control. Or you might go for a Personal Protection Training (on and off leash), which will teach the dog to guard their humans and property, learn”attack” and”release” commands, etc.. There you go, you’re on your way to getting that cool police-style dog you’ve always wanted.
Serving area: the entire San Diego County
If your pooch needs some expert behaviour modification training, this is your local 5-star professional dog behaviorist – Legends Dog Training School. They specialize in dog separation anxiety training, training for dogs with impulsivity problems, fearful reaction to other dogs and a number of other behavioral problems.
Alyssa Rose (Lapinel), the creator of Legends, is a CPDT-KA certified Canine Training and Behavior Specialist with 15 years of experience in the region of behavioral studies. She applied her degree in Phycology to work with children and adults diagnosed with severe disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and bipolar disorder, and later used this experience to start working with animals. Alyssa designs behaviour modification dog training programs that address the origin of a behavioral issue and provide a systematic framework for improving communication and strengthening the bond between the dog and his/her owner.
One consultation costs $150, but it is included in case you decide to pursue a training package with 5 courses for $575. Mind you, different options are available, so check Legends site and see their contact info below to find out more.
7. Pawtopia – Dog Agility Training San Diego
You have sure enough heard about this dog training school – Pawtopia. But did you know that they had a specialized dog agility training course? Yep, this one also made it to our hidden jewels list. Its founder, Colleen Demling, is an accredited coach with 16 years of experience. She is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, is licensed by the CBCC-KA and CPDT-KA, in Addition to IABBC. Colleen also designed the Temperament Test for the Naval Medical Center’s Therapy Dog Program here at San Diego. Colleen is actively involved in several professional organizations, such as the International Association of Canine Professionals, the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and the Animal Behavior Management Alliance.
Is the class Pawtopia offers for dogs of all levels of training, so don’t look away if you are not interested in competing – this is dog agility training course for those who just want to have fun, run through tunnels and jump through hoops, no pressure! The purchase price is $170, and you can learn more on the Pawtopia site.
Service areas: South Park, Hillcrest, Mission Hills, North Park, Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Sunset Cliffs, Mission Valley, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Mission Bay, Bay Park, Morena, Kearney Mesa, Linda Vista, Clairemont Mesa, Normal Heights,University Heights, Clairemont, Coronado, San Diego, Lemon Grove,, Linda Vista, Serra Mesa, Tierrasanta, Sports Arena, La Jolla, Bird Rock, UTC, Sorrento Valley, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Scripps Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Santa Fe, Crosby, Del Sur, Carmel Valley, Torrey Hills, Del Mar, Del Mar Heights, Solana Beach, Fairbanks Ranch, Cardiff By the Sea, Encinitas, Encinitas Ranch, Bridges in Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Penasquitos
8. Devotion to Dogs – In Home Dog Training
For those looking for in home dog training, Ben of Devotion to Dogs offers just that, and takes a place in our listing of concealed San Diego gems. Ben has been a dog trainer for 15 years, and trained dogs with a variety of behavioral issues. In addition, he works with local rescues and believes that every dog can be trained and successfully rehabilitated. His specialty is in home dog training: a personal, one on one kind of training which allows him to evaluate the environment and find the appropriate solution. And allows you to save time on commute naturally.
Devotion to Dogs offers a number of packages. The starting package includes a 2-4 hour at home session as well as a 1 hour follow up session, which goes for $500. Call Devotion to Dogs for more information.
Garfield Ave, El Cajon, CA 92020
9. Tully’s Training – Online Dog Training
If you will need some flexibility or are on a budget, Tully’s Training offers not just private in home training and group classes, but also basic obedience positive-reinforcement online dog training – via Skype.
Tully’s Training group is comprised of trainers with expertise in exotic, domestic, and marine mammal training, allowing it to look at animal behavior from different angles. One of the most titled trainers is Meghan McLeod, who reportedly trained with a range of well-recognized behaviorists like Karen Pryer and Dr. Ian Dunbar. Check out Tully’s team of trainers with a whole spectrum of different backgrounds .
According to Tully’s, online dog training has been working great for them and their customers, as they have the ability to get that exact same individual, one on one session that you would get in person for a fraction of the cost. So, if online dog training matches your requirements, this is the school for you. Training packages are highly customizable, so get in contact with Tully’s for more information.
Were you searching for a dog training camp in San Diego? It’s a family-owned dog training school founded by Graham Bloem, a professional dog trainer with 17+ years of experience and a recipient of numerous awards, including American Red Cross Real Heroes Award and the Honeywell Life Safety Award presented by Larry King himself. Graham’s team consists of a number of experienced professionals that together have accumulated numerous accreditations, including certificates by IACP, APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), NADOI, ABSCDT and others. Graham and his wife, Kyrie, also actively support nonprofits, shelters and rescue organizations.
Specialty Dog Training focuses on using positive reinforcement and discipline in their training. Their dog training camp, i.e. in-kennel training, dog board and train or a boot camp is a structured environment where your dog will be taught all of the obedience basics he or she needs to be a excellent companion. Being away from the regular environment is a good opportunity for your dog to”reset”, while the coaches can work on their own behavioral issues in a controlled environment.
Specialty Dog Training provides plenty of packages, they also have a Boot Camp Special for the month of March, with 25% off all dog training camps. The purchase price varies between $1575 (with the discount) for a 2-week app with 2 private sessions, to $5400 for an 8-week app with 2 private lessons.
Pacific Pet Resort, 2909 San Luis Rey Rd Oceanside CA 92058