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Fetchers K9 Academy

PO Box 8105
South Bend, IN 46660
(574) 968-8610

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Fetchers K9 Academy dog training lifetime guarantee

Dog Training FAQ

1. How long does it take to train a dog for obedience?

With short daily training and the right dog training method, you can have a well behaved dog in 5-6 weeks. With the proper dog trainer, you will notice results with the 1st lesson.

2. Is training just for young dogs or can old dogs be trained too?

Obedience training is for dogs of all ages. The old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not true. Starting to train at an early age can be helpful but dogs of all ages can learn. Dogs actually enjoy learning, so training an older dog can be very successful and enjoyable for the dog.

3. How old does a puppy have to be before you can start training?

Puppies can start training as early as seven weeks of age if the training method is fun and in the form of gentle play. Offering toys, food and praise as rewards will help make the puppy want to behave. Puppy obedience exercises can be done several times a day, but only for a few minutes each time. They enjoy learning, but they have short attention spans. Never use physical punishment on a young puppy as you may damage him both mentally and physically.

To establish a positive rapport with your puppy and prevent future behavioral problems, you should start puppy training a few days after your puppy settles into his new home. More formal obedience training can begin at about 4-6 months of age.

Training your puppy is enjoyable and worthwhile. You will develop a wonderful bond with your puppy and have an enjoyable activity you can do together even after the dog is grown. An untrained dog can be a pest, a problem, and even a danger - which makes puppy obedience important. A well-trained dog is a good friend and an asset to his family and community.

4. Are group dog training lessons effective?

Yes and no. The advantage of group dog training lessons is that your dog has the opportunity to develop social skills in a group setting while being supervised by a professional dog trainer. Socialization is very important in dog training, and when a dog is learning to socialize, the feedback from a professional dog trainer can help you determine if your dog is socializing correctly or not.

However, a group situation creates a lot of distraction, and dogs that cannot be controlled by their owners can ruin a group lesson for everyone. Out-of-control dogs in a group lesson will engage with the other dogs - hopefully to play, but sometimes with aggression. This causes the other dogs (and owners) to lose focus on the training. Another result of having out-of-control dogs in a group lesson is that they tend to take all of the attention of the trainer - and that means no time for your dog!

In order to get benefits from group lessons, all of the dogs participating need to (at the very least) understand sit and stay. Once there is some control over the dog and they have learned to focus on their owner even in high distraction, then a group class can be helpful in developing their social skills.

5. Is it ok to put a dog in a crate?

Dogs are not only pack animals by nature, but they are also den animals. When used properly, most dogs come to love their crates. You may have noticed that your dog likes to lie beneath your dining room table or other confined spaces, and the crate is not much different. Both resemble a den.

Crates can be a great training tool, particularly when house training puppies. Puppies do not like to soil where they sleep, so they learn to control themselves until they are let out. It is important to remember that puppies should not be left in crates for more than 3 or 4 hours without being let out to go to the bathroom - and it is best to use the crate with the intention of ultimately weaning your dog off of it. Crates can also be used as a comforting personal space for your dog, a place where you can tell him to go to as needed. This can be handy in a number of different training situations, such as when dealing with dogs who bark excessively or dogs who are afraid of thunder.

There are some dogs that do best being crated when left alone to keep them from behaving destructively. You can keep your furniture and other items from being chewed or otherwise destroyed, but you’ll also keep your dog safer. Again, keep in mind that dogs need plenty of opportunities to be let out to go to the bathroom and get some exercise.

6. I'm ready for a dog. What type should I get?

Deciding which type of dog is best for your family takes homework and planning. The more you know before you buy, the better decision you will make. This applies to all aspects of getting a dog including selecting the breed or deciding where to obtain a puppy. I strongly recommend that you spend plenty of time investigating before making a final decision. Remember, pets are for life - and be sure to involve the entire family when it comes to caring for your new pet.

Pet rescues and adoption programs are great ways to find your new pet and to save a dog's life. Look to local shelters and rescue groups in your area. Or try visiting “Petfinder”, which provides links to shelters around the U.S. at

If you are interested in locating a breeder, you might ask your family veterinarian for recommendations. Another way to find a qualified breeder is to contact you local kennel club or visit the AKC at

You can also speak with a professional dog trainer. Dog trainers know the personality traits of many breeds and can match a breed to you lifestyle and home environment. Everyone needs to consider their lifestyle and physical environment when getting a dog. For example: If you have a fast paced life and do not have much free time, then you probably want a breed that is low maintenance. If you have a small home and a small yard, then you should probably get a small dog. This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people buy a puppy because of how cute they are, or because the price is right. Over the life of your dog, that means nothing!

7. What types of dogs are best with children?

Raising children and puppies together can be a wonderful experience if you take the time to do a bit of advanced planning. Like humans, dogs are individuals with their own distinct personalities. Although some breeds are considered more “Child-Friendly” than others, you should conduct plenty of research before deciding on the type of dog you want. The best chances of finding a dog that will get along with your children is to choose a breed that is suited for your lifestyle and living environment. If the dog fits into your lives on a daily basis, then it will be a happy and productive part of your family.

Plan to begin training your new dog as soon as he settles in to his new environment. A professional trainer can help you with advice on how to ensure that your new pet learns to behave well with other family members.

Every pet living in a household with children should be given his own private area where he can go to get away from the kids when necessary. This can be a specific area of the house or a crate, and the children should be taught to leave the pet alone when in his private area and to respect his privacy.

Children of all ages can help with the tasks of owning a dog. Smaller children can take on the role of “helper”. They can help their parents with tasks like grooming, going for walks, filling the food and water bowls and going along to the veterinarians office. They should also take part in giving rewards for good behavior by giving the dog treats for sitting, going into the crate and so on. As the children get older, they can usually take care of many of these tasks on their own - they just may need some reminding.

It is also very important that children with pets be taught about unfamiliar animals. Not all animals will be as friendly as your family pet. They should learn to ask for permission before approaching or petting an unfamiliar animal. Further, to avoid dog bites, children should be taught the appropriate way to act around dogs, including not staring directly at a dog.

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