Within the next few weeks, sleepy-eyed children will begin lining up at bus stops with shiny new backpacks and freshly sharpened pencils, ready for the start of a new school year. It’s an exciting time, but if you have kids and a dog, it can also be a confusing time for your four-legged friend.
Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their favorite playmates are suddenly missing every day, and you might notice some moping behavior. One way to get your dog back in good spirits? Sign them up for school, too! Dog classes not only offer mental and physical stimulation, they also teach important skills and provide an opportunity for socialization.
Here are three dog classes to consider for your pup this fall.
Basic Obedience Dog Classes
When it comes to dog classes, basic obedience is a must-do. In most classes, dogs learn important everyday commands like “sit,”“stay,”“down,” and “come” as well as loose-leash walking (“heel”) and impulse control. Many basic obedience classes also introduce ways to problem solve common issues, like chewing or jumping. Whatever basic obedience class you choose, just make sure that the trainers are certified and use a positive approach (versus one based on punishment). You may want to ask friends or family for recommendations, or check out your local AKC dog club.
RELATED STORY: 5 Steps to Dog Obedience Training
Canine Good Citizen Dog Classes
Have you ever thought that your dog might make a good therapy dog? Or perhaps you just want your dog to have good manners in your home, out in public, around other people, and other dogs? Then consider signing up for a Canine Good Citizen training class that will prepare you for the Canine Good Citizen test. The Canine Good Citizen test is a certification program through the AKC that evaluates dogs to determine if they are reliable family and community members. Each dog must pass a series of tests, including greeting a stranger, moving politely through a crowd, sitting politely for petting, being left with a stranger, and more. Once your dog passes, they will receive a certificate from the American Kennel Club. To find training classes in your area, visit the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Training/Testing page.
RELATED STORY: The Top 10 Dog Training Tips
Agility Training Dog Classes
You might be looking at your wrinkly Bulldog thinking, “agility training? Perhaps not…” But the truth is that any dog can take part in agility training, so long as they are healthy and the course and obstacles are appropriate for your dog’s size. Agility training is an active sport in which your dog follows your cues to move through an obstacle course of tunnels, poles, jumps, and more. It’s loads of fun, and great exercise too. To get started, find a local agility training group. To learn more, visit the AKC’s Agility Homepage.
Will you be signing up for any dog classes this fall? Leave a comment and let us know! And to have more money in your pocket to spend on classes, sign up for PetPlus! PetPlus is a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more. Learn more at PetPlus.com.