Should you choose private or group dog training?

I taught hundreds of dog training classes for two years before switching to all private sessions five years ago. I enjoyed teaching classes but enjoy the flexibility and autonomy of private sessions more. But, I still see value in group classes and often refer clients to other group classes in Chicago. Are you currently deciding between group and private classes and don't know which option to choose? Here are my thoughts on both options.

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Halloween dog training tips

Halloween is a great opportunity for dog training. The uniqueness of the holiday provides some dog training experiences that you can take advantage of to help your dog get to the next level in his socialization and guest manners skills.

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Change a dog training cue

Did you ever want to change a cue or teach your dog a new cue for an old behavior? It is actually very easy to do this with just a little planning. 

Why would you want to teach your dog a new cue for a behavior that he already knows? One common example is when someone wants to teach their dog another cue for Come When Called.

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Don't spray your dog or throw cans with coins

I was speaking with a client the other day about her dog that is afraid of men. Her dog is a rescue, had a rough background including some abuse by the previous owner. She had always been a little skittish around men, but until recently she had not been growling and now my client was concerned because it was becoming more frequent and severe. I asked what she had tried before speaking with me.

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Why I don't like retractable leashes

I am not a fan of retractable leashes. There are dog lovers everywhere that swear by how wonderful they are and use them every day. While I think they are humane, (always my main criteria for even considering a dog product) I think they potentially cause more training problems than benefits.

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Sensible Harness for dogs product review

If you have followed my blog, you know that I am completely against the use of prong collars, choke chains and shock collars for dogs. Besides the fundamental belief that dogs should be taught using humane methods, there is no excuse to use those outdated training tools because there are humane alternatives that allow anyone to painlessly control their dogs.

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Five biggest mistakes new puppy guardians make

My clients often hire me to help rehabilitate their dog's problems. Sometimes they recently adopted an older dog that already has behavior problems, while others have had their dogs since they were puppies and were lax in one or more areas that resulted in behavior problems forming over a period of time.

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Use Kongs to cure dog boredom

Kongs are one of the best antidotes to cure dog boredom.

I sometimes have to remind myself to use them as well because I get out of practice, but every time I use them it reinforces how great they are. I always talk to my clients about them and thought you might need a reminder as well.

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Train your dog to walk next to a stroller

Walking a dog while trying to navigate a stroller can be extremely frustrating. Besides the normal frustrations with a pulling dog, there is also the danger and concern of a baby in the stroller. Visions of the dog pulling the stroller over and seeing the baby get hurt are not something that any parent wants to witness. So, what often happens? The dog often receives less walks because he is not able to walk nicely next to the stroller. That is a shame.

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The importance of handling and grooming puppies

Last week I saw a client that I have not seen since her puppy was 5 months old. I met with her for just one session to help her get on the right track and talk about basic puppy strategies including socialization, jumping, puppy biting and preventative strategies including separation anxiety and aggresssion. Her dog is now a 2-year-old, 55 lb. German Shepherd mix and my client hired me because he has been biting.

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