Dog training at home is a good option for many people. All dogs should learn some basic obedience commands. Basic obedience can be as simple as teaching your dog some good manners. However, not everyone has the time or the money to invest in training courses offered by trainers at training centers, kennel clubs or shelters. That doesn’t have to stop you from teaching your dog what he needs to learn.
Dog training at home can focus on the same things you would learn in classes. This means that you should teach your dog basic obedience lessons such as sit, come, lie down, stay and walking on a loose leash. If your dog knows these basics then you can apply them in many situations right in your home to have your dog behave better. You will also have better control of your dog when you’re out in public. For example, if your dog knows the sit command you can teach him to sit instead of jumping up on people and you can teach him to sit at the door instead of trying to run out when people go either in or out the door. Just learning this one simple command can prevent a lot of bad behavior.
When you train your dog at home you will need the same equipment that you use for a class. To teach your dog using positive reinforcement techniques, for example, you would need a flat buckle collar and leash for your dog. The leash should be about 6 feet long. Nylon or leather both make good choices. You will also probably need some kind of bait bag or training pouch to hold treats for rewards. You can also use a baggy or a small Ziploc bag in your pocket. And, of course, you will need treats! Sliced hot dogs or something else small and tasty that your dog loves will do fine. None of these things needs to cost a lot of money. Your dog doesn’t need an expensive collar or leash for training. It simply needs to be durable and of good quality so it doesn’t break while you’re training. You shouldn’t spend a fortune on a bait bag either. It’s going to be covered in dog slobber and training bits so it’s not something precious.
If you plan to use clicker training then you’ll need to have a couple of clickers — one to use and one in case you lose the clicker. Don’t feel bad if you lose your clicker. It happens all the time. You can get a clicker that comes with a wristband so you can keep track of the clicker a little better. Basic clickers are inexpensive so there’s no need to spend a lot of money on fancy ones. They all generally do the same job. If you intend to buy several clickers at one time check eBay for deals. There are often 4-6 clickers for sale for just a few dollars.
Whether dog training at home is for you or you decide to attend dog training classes, your dog’s progress will depend on how much you work with your dog. If you only work with your dog for a few minutes once a week then he won’t learn very much. On the other hand, if you work with your dog a little each day he will learn and remember what you teach him. It’s really all up to you what your dog learns. If you put an extra effort into training your dog, he’ll learn basic obedience and you’ll both be much happier.