In-home puppy training sessions – worth the expense?

This fall I was reintroduced to the world of puppies, after twelve years, as my friend and my cousin both adopted new furry family members. When my husband and I got our dog twelve years ago, we didn’t have any children – Biko was our baby. It was ridiculous. Doggie play dates, endless photos, swapping stories with co-workers. Those days are long gone for us as Biko is low man on the totem pole in our now-full house of three kids.

When we were “training’ our dog (I use that term loosely, more like trying to prevent him from jumping on people and knocking them over) we enrolled in a puppy obedience class, which seemed to be the only option at the time. My husband and I went once each week for eight weeks and basically we were trained on how to train our dog with ten or so other owner/puppy combos. My parents laughed at us at the time that we even found it necessary to go to this class. Couldn’t we just read a book, they scoffed?

Well, wait until my parents hear what the new craze is in training puppies now – puppy or dog trainers make house calls. Both my friend and my cousin purchased packages (they don’t even know each other, by the way) of 6 or so in-home sessions with a dog trainer. They have found them to be hugely successful, the benefits being the puppy is comfortable in their home, cutting down on the anxiety and distraction of being around a group of other dogs, and it’s their real life setting, making it easier for the dog, and owner to replicate training methods once the trainer exits. I asked how they found out about this in-house training set-up and they both were given referrals by their vet and breeder.

I am not sure if I will do the same down the road should we have a new puppy (and sadly, considering Biko is twelve, it may be sooner than later), but it sounds like it works. Pricey but if it makes it easier to train your puppy, it’s probably worth it.

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Rachael Ray