The 3 Methods To Train Your Dog

The 3 Methods to Training Your Dog
Hollywood Dog Training School
Richard Karl, Author, Owner

School’s out, Summer’s here and everyone wants to know what is the best way to get your dog trained.


There are basically 3 ways to get your dog trained:

  1. Park or group classes

  2. Private one on one “In-Home” training

  3. In-Board training

All have their own assets and liabilities. Let’s try to break them down so you can make up your own mind as to what will work for you.


The general types of commands that are taught to your dog are:

  • A. Heeling: walking at the left side with no pulling or tugging on a loose leash.

  • B. Sit: when you stop walking your dog will either automatically sit or is vocally told to sit, in the right spot facing the correct direction.

  • C. Down: lay down on command, in the correct spot, facing the correct direction.

  • D. Stay: in “sit” or “down” position with distractions, dogs and people;

    1-2 minutes for a sit stay & 3-4 minutes for a down stay.

  • E. Recall: come when called and return to the correct spot, facing the correct way.

In addition, they will learn not to jump up on people as well as not to be too mouthy.


Park or group lessons

These classes are usually sponsored by Park & Recreation departments or pet stores, and even obedience clubs. This method of dog training is usually less expensive in cost then the other two because there are more people and anywhere from 1 trainer to 1 to 2 helpers. It is not always true but some feel that the quality of trainer in pet stores or parks are of a lesser quality and experience. If you are lucky enough to find an obedience club, the trainers there are usually of a higher caliber and experience. Again, generally accepted but not always true.

The group method meets once per week with the trainer talking about his methods, or at least he should, and giving out a lesson plan for each of the consecutive weeks. The number of weeks vary but are usually 7-10 consecutive 60-90min classes. You are expected to work your dog a minimum of once per day (30 to 60 minutes) and some trainers will expect you to work on your dog twice a day based on age and attention span.


The assets with this method is:

    1. Cost, This is the least expensive.

    2. You do have dogs around you for distraction. You’ll make friends hopefully, and potential play dates for your dog.

    3. You will be given helpful generic advice that may not always be specific to your dog.

    4. There can be good socialization opportunities.

Some of the associated problems with this method can be similar to the assets;

    1. Sometimes there are so many breeds of dogs, large and small, that the class can be very disruptive.

    2. The solutions are only as good as the trainers experience and his helpers. Many times there are to many explosive moments to have the class be productive.

    3. A very high drop out rate.

    4. Will lack the professional “sharpness”.

For best results, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  1.  Before you sign up check out a prior class and listen to the trainer. See if you relate and like him or her. Walk away if you don’t.

  2. Keep in mind a smaller class size usually is better then big. 1 trainer and/or 1 helper to each 6-7 dogs is my max.

  3.  Make sure you have the time to commit. If you don’t, you will just bring the class down in production.

  4. If possible look for classes that match your dogs size as much as possible

In-Home Training

This process has a dog trainer coming to you at your requested day and time and he is devoting all his time to you and your dog. It is so important to qualify your trainer as to his methods, experience, and references. This form of dog training also has weekly lesson plans and a good trainer will tell you how many times to work your dog per day and for how long.

What I’m about to say is true for all methods of dog training. Dog training is not an empirical science. It is a form of psychological approaches to shape behavior. There are many philosophies. Make sure you fully discuss with your trainer what method(s) he is bringing to you.

Some of the assets in this type of training are as follows:

  1.  Highly convenient.

  2.  Will apply to all the needs and requests you have around your home and neighborhood.

  3.  You get to keep your dog at home.

  4.  The cost of the program is a step higher than group lessons because of the one on one convenience.

Some of the associated liabilities with this form of training are:

  1. Lack of broad scale socialization especially around other dogs is lacking here.

  2. The costs of the program is higher than group, the highest per lesson price of these 3 methods.

  3. Hard to get feed back when the trainer is not around.

  4. A lot of labor.

  5. Takes much longer since the trainer will not be training the dog, you will.

  6. Not as reliable since you will be training the dog, not the trainer.

Remember in this type of dog training, YOU are the dog trainer. Your job will only be as good as you are. The dog trainer you hired will demonstrate the techniques for the time he is there, but you are on your own till he comes back next week.

In-Board Training

In this method you would drop your dog off at a facility who specializes in this work. The dog is normally assigned to one trainer who will do all the work. The dog will be trained for all his commands by a professional who knows how to make the learning fun. Usually the family is welcome to visit and see progress. Once the training is done the family will come down to the kennel to see a demonstration of their dogs skills. There is usually a week of lessons that go with each month of training chosen. In our program there is a delivery of the dog to his home to show the family how to use and apply all the lessons that were taught to your dog.

The assets are:

    1. You have your dog being schooled by an experienced and highly competent trainer.

    2. The dog is socialized to kennel life as well as other dogs just like him.. We have a doggie daycare where your dog can play when he is not training.

    3. We have a home like atmosphere with in-door out-door dog runs with heat in the winter and evaporative cooling in the summer. We also have mist systems throughout the acre.

    4. Less labor on your part, to get started.

    5. You will be able to do lessons to achieve much higher levels of response than the previous types of training, at no additional cost.

Some of the liabilities are:

    1. You will miss your dog

    2. The cost is the most expensive type (initially) of dog training. (this is the best long term value, it is less expensive than private lessons if you consider a per lesson price).

    3. That’s all folks, no other issues. Your dog will have the time of their lives…guaranteed.

Hollywood Dog Training School
10805 Vanowen St. N. Hollywood Ca 91605
(818) 762-1262 Fax (818) 762-2411
Our Hours Are:
8am-6pm M-F 8am-4pm Sat
Closed Sundays and Holidays

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