Dog Training in a Dog Obedience Group Class - Jim Burwell’s Petiquette

I’ve taught group obedience classes for about 15 years.  I hadn’t taught for over a year, since selling out of Rover Oaks Pet Resort.  My client base kept asking, “When are you going to start teaching group obedience class again?”  

I loved and missed the people, the dogs and the energy of my group obedience classes.  I especially enjoyed the “playtime” before class and I know the dogs and owners enjoyed it as well.  This prompted me to really start thinking about doing classes again and so “I’m back!”  My first and second obedience classes were sold out quickly.  As fast as I could get the word out, everyone signed up.  It is good for you, good for your dog and I get a real kick out of teaching group.

This got me to thinking about the benefits of group obedience so I thought I would list a few of the benefits for you.  Group obedience class IS mainly for the owners.  It’s an economical way to show owners how to work with their dogs which allows them to take that information home and practice with their dogs in the home environment.  Admittedly, group obedience class is probably not the best learning environment for dogs and puppies with the level of distraction; although, playtime before class, surely calms the pups down for a better focused class.  Each week we see meaningful progress with both owners and dogs – if the work is done in between class.

Here’s some of the benefits of a group obedience class:

  • Great socialization for your dog in group obedience class (not every group class instructor allows group play.)
  • Helps your dog begin to learn obedience commands in a real life environment – an environment with distractions.
  • The chance to learn in-home practical ways to work with your dog at home where his dog behavior is the concern.  A good group obedience class is not just sits and downs.

Here’s a checklist for you to help you choose a good group class

  • Make sure the instructor you choose uses positive reinforcement – no harsh corrections.  Check references if you can.
  • Make sure the class size is not more than 12 dogs per instructor.  This allows the instructor to spend time with you and your dog.
  • Ask if you can audit a class to confirm the instructor spends adequate time with each person and their dog
  • A good training facility is designed with space that meets the needs of the owner and dog i.e. adequate space with minimal extraneous distractions.
  • Price should by no means be the determining factor in choosing a group class.
  • Most instructors will stay after class for questions and assistance.

Here’s a little video of some playtime before one of my group classes.

Playtime in Jim Burwell\’s Group Class