What are the disadvantages of sending my dog away to be trained?

There are many types of obedience classes, but sending your dog away to be trained is one of the least desirable options because:

• It can weaken your bond and relationship: You need to learn to understand and communicate with your dog. Alternatively, your dog needs to learn the ropes of your household. That can’t happen if the dog’s sent away.

• When you send your dog away for training, someone else is establishing their relationship with the dog , which sometimes doesn’t transfer to the actual owner when the dog is returned.

• It won’t establish you as “pack leader.” Dogs are pack animals and they’ll look up to you as the leader. When you participate in obedience training and give commands, it will establish respect.

• If you still must send her, prepare your dog for boot camp training by working on basic commands at home, such as sit, stay, and down. Say the command, and gently help the dog complete it. Provide positive reinforcement by giving your new puppy or dog treats when she obeys you. Make sure you continue to work with her when she gets home.

• You don’t get any necessary training yourself. Very often, an obedience class is as much for the owner as it is for the dog, because you need to learn how to clearly articulate the commands. You also need to be consistent, or you’ll just confuse the dog.

• It costs more: Depending upon the location and the length of time, a two-week stay can cost approximately $1,000 to $2,500 or more. Compare that to these averages: Group classes, $50 to 125 for a four- to six-week class; $50-100 per hour for individual ones.

• You won’t be there to protect your dog, if necessary: Unfortunately, some engage in very rigid tactics that can frighten a dog, and you won’t be there to soothe her.

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