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I've never hired a trainer before, I did the training myself. When I saw what trainers train the dog to do on a site, it confused me, especially since they teach basic obedience. Basic obedience is "Sit" "Stay" and etc, right? Well, all an owner would have to do is purchase a movie or book and it'll tell them how to teach basic obedience. Instead of spending so much money on training lessons, why not buy a $5.00 to $10.00 DVD or video?
What benefits do training with a trainer offer that the owner can't get on their own?
 

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The trainer has the ability to step outside of the general view and figure out what the owner may need help in doing for the best possible results. I view it as kinda like asking someone neutral to give their advice on a problem because they arent actually a part of it, they can give a different perspective. Good trainers have often dealt with dogs who needed different handling than other dogs and can give ideas and advice as to how to go about training a dog who may be more challenged in terms of learning compared to other dogs. make sense?
 

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What benefits do training with a trainer offer that the owner can't get on their own?
When I first started clicker training, I can't tell you just how valuable it was to have a good clicker trainer working with me to teach me the RIGHT timing for using the clicker in training. I think with that particular method, the timing is really hard to get right when you are starting and you need to have someone there to tell you when you're doing it wrong and confusing your dog.

That's also the primary reason why I would always prefer to train with other people, even if it's friends who train rather than a trainer - having extra sets of eyes that belong to knowledgeable people who can tell you what you're doing wrong and when you are sending mixed messages. Because when it seems like your dog is "just not getting it", most of the time, the error is on the handler's end, confusing the dog by getting the timing wrong, correcting or praising at the wrong time, having the wrong body language.

I've noticed this especially with trying to work on my heeling. I've actually started using my little camera to film myself to see what my body positioning is when Ronja forges ahead or the distance between us increases and it's not HER at all, it's my body posture and body language.

A book or a DVD can tell you a ton of stuff and you can learn a ton of stuff from it, but it's invaluable to have a second person there (a knowledgeable person) who can watch you put it into practice and make sure you do it right.

IMHO the Michael Ellis DVDs are a great example of this. They're filmed at training seminars. Michael explains and demonstrates the technique. So you'd think people could just do the same thing. Then he shows people IN the seminar who've just heard him explain it and seen him do it, and all the things they do wrong and that he corrects for them to do right.
 

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one thing would be an objective eye. a second person can help with timing your praise/corrections. it can also help to have someone show what you are doing wrong - even though you believe you are copying what you see on the DVD exactly, you might be off, even more so if you are going by the written word alone.

Being in a class can also help because you dog will be used to listening to you with distractions and other people around.

ETA: I think we were all posting at the same time!
 

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Aside from the other bonus's mentioned training classes provide a great place to socialize your pup, teach them with distractions, and get them used to other dogs. They become accustomed to focusing on you with puppies all over the place, new smells, and noises. They get used to foreign humans approaching them, touching them, and talking to them; and they learn how to interact with other dogs, body language, and how to mingle with other canines politely. This type of socialization is invaluable no matter how much basic know how you have:)
 

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Why do I waste my money and life in training classes?

1. I can train my dogs to sit and down and stay, but I cannot train them around other people and their dogs, who provide a good distraction, and help my dog to get used to seeing other people and dogs.

2. When I run into a problem, a good trainer can see what it is about my body language that is causing the dog to hook to the left, or swing to the front or whatever. They can make suggestions that I might not consider because I do not train in front of a full sized mirror and I am focussed on the dog, not on the dog/handler team.

3. Having a dog in classes and paying for those classes compels me to get out there at least once a week and train that dog (in class). With no classes, I am likely to be lazy and do it tomorrow, and then tomorrow never comes.

4. My training class is where I see Dog People. They are my friends, my mentors, my support group, and some look to me as well. The dogs LOVE going to classes and my Thursday night group has been together way too long. We often pull the chairs around afterwards and have refreshments. Then some of us stop at a fast food joint. My trainer has been involved with a number of different breeds, owns a shepherd and now raises and shows leonbergers. She is also an obedience judge.

Last night (after the worst CGC class completed), I had Joy in our last Advanced(Rally/Obedience) class. This class has been together for almost four years. There are two therapy dogs (Jack Russel Terrier and Cardigan Welsh Corgi), one RE (Doberman Pincher), Joy Joy (who is going to go for her RN), and the lady with the labs. I have brought Rushie, Arwen, Heidi, Babsy, and now Joy to this class. But last night, the Corgi owner brought a little seven year old boy that has improved his reading by reading to the Corgi. It was so neat for him to take the dog out on the Rally course and work with him. His family is all afraid of dogs, but the Corgi has really helped them to not be afraid anymore. The Corgi is working on its RN.

5. Classes are fun for me and the dogs. They help build a bond between the dog and owner.
 

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Heck, I agree with everyone! :)
 

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Along with the extra things everybody else said, have you ever seen the average owner try training their dog after watching a clip online? Doesn't go over well!

There are tons of tips and tricks and ways to train that average owners don't see/know and need to learn. Such as; fading a lure asap. Most videos don't talk about or show this, and people training their dogs don't do it and they're treat dependent.
 

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No DVD will show you all the problems you will encounter when training YOUR indivual dog. A good trainer who has worked with hundreds of different dogs and different owners and who deveotes his/her knowledge to keep always learning new techniques and theories will have more tools on his toolbox to resolve problems and create solutions.

A dvd will show you how, while a good trainer knows why.
 

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IF the trainer (actually probably better called an instructor as they do you and you train the dog!) is a good one you get the benefits of using a professional.

Just as with any professional, they should have a lot of experience and knowledge that the average DIY would not have. You can read a book on on a subject or watch a video but that surely wouldn't qualify you to do it by yourself, esp. when something goes wrong.

Like wiring the electrical lines in your house, or putting in a concrete patio or even diagnosing and treating a large cut on your arm - pros do it better, faster and more efficiently. Learn from the pros!
 

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i agree that the pro's of going to training classes are an objective point of view, and learning how to be a good handler in distracting situations........as long as you have access to good instructors people that have alot of experience and are professionally certified.......
the purpose of going to classes is to socialize as well, unless one has tons of access to groups of people and dogs often, which most don't.
if you have alot of training experience and access to all these things outside class it can be done especially if you aren't dealing with special needs.........in other words if you have a pretty solid stable pup, i think you can successfully do your own thing and get away with it..........iif you have a less confident fearful dog all depending on the degree of the issue i think most people do need professional help to work through it, socializing without pushing to much at them at once.........different approaches apply to the individual dog..........
 

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I agree with all the above! I also love that they give tips and tricks top help that you might never have thought of. A good trainer can find out what works best for you and your dog to give you the best results.
 

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I agree with everyone as well. DVD'S can help a bit but 99% of the time it's the new owner that needs to learn how to either pop the collar or when to click the clicker or even when to treat. Having a real person there can show you what and if you are doing anything wrong and correct you. There are hundreds of different techniques out there to teach different things, you just need to find one that fits your needs. Good luck.
 

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Another nice thing about going to a class is that you are surrounded by people who are going through the trials of raising a puppy too. It helps to know that the struggles you are having with your dog are not uncommon and that there is a fix for them. There is also usually time to pull the instructor aside after or before class to ask a specific question if you are having an issue that hasn't been addressed.
 

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It comes down to experiance. A trainer will have past knowledge of working with numerous dogs and how to cater training, praise, corrections to your dog. Each dog is different, and just because a video showed how to perform an excercise, your dog might need to do it slightly differently. When it comes to basic obediance, beginning on your own is perfect, but working on later training with a trainer around other dogs is invaluable. I can find instructions on how to install a furnace also, but I still call my HVAC guy when its time.
 

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it has been said already, the instructor is training me, plus going to a trainer, he or she has no attachment to the dog as we do, the dog knows this and acts differently when the leash is in the instructors hands
 
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