Many clients are very committed to training their dogs and raising them well, but their busy schedules prevent them from doing their “homework” and spending as much time training as they would like. Others have dogs (especially puppies) who are not crate trained and spend their days getting into mischief: chewing up the house, “borrowing” things from their their humans, counter-surfing, streaming toilet paper around the entire house, etc. In either of these situations, Helping Hounds LLC obedience tutoring may provide an excellent solution. In this service, a trainer comes to your home on a weekday while you are not there (e.g., at work) and keeps your dog busy while you are not around to practice training him or monitor his behavior. If, but only if, you are an obedience training client, then you certainly may and might be very wise to take advantage of this service.
The main purpose of obedience tutoring is to actively engage with your dog in several types of mental stimulation, including practicing what he has learned in his training sessions, which will also relieve the boredom that can lead to his seeking out his own fun.
- The training review is the central focus. Dogs generally require quite a bit of repetition to learn specific behaviors, and obedience tutoring can fill in many of those repetitions that you do not have time to do, giving him a more solid foundation for when you practice. Keep in mind, though, that this does not replace your “homework”. Remember, you are an integral, essential part of your dog’s training!
- The “babysitting” portion of the tutoring teaches your dog which kinds of inside “fun” are permissible and which kinds are not, and how to spend time by himself in acceptable (i.e. non-destructive) ways.
Additionally, this service has benefits beyond simply satisfying its primary purpose. It helps your dog generalize what she has learned in obedience training; provides an extra opportunity to work on her leash skills; gets her extra play time; and helps her learn to be self-sufficient, engaging in constructive behaviors when her humans are focusing their attention elsewhere.
In each day training session, the trainer will:
- walk for your dog (this will save you the cost of hiring a dog walker and give your dog a chance to work on her leash manners, but it will not replace your responsibility to provide her with active physical exercise);
- reinforce the new obedience skills from her latest training session as well as review of those she learned in earlier sessions;
- play with her; and
- practice having her learn to relax and take care of herself when humans want to have calm time (such as reading a book, working at a computer, or watching TV) while still monitoring her behavior. For example, she could be playing with her toys, taking a nap, etc. rather than zooming around the apartment, constantly jumping on people and furniture, snatching items that are not hers, and demand-barking for more attention and activity.
All of this stimulation will remind her of her training, help her learn which other behaviors are allowed and which are not, and tire her out (for dogs, mental exercise is every bit as exhausting as physical exercise).
Logistics and Scheduling
Depending on your schedule, needs, and budget, you can choose between two available options, comparable to half-day kindergarten and full-day kindergarten. Each portion would last three hours. For example, if you generally leave at 8 in the morning and return at 6 in the evening, the trainer would come either from approximately 9:30-12:30, approximately 1:30-4:30, or both. The day(s) need not be the same every week; and you also have the option of using this service only occasionally. This service is not intended to be used every day of the week, but exceptions may be made depending on the circumstances of the case.
Note: Obedience tutoring is available only for clients who are already engaged in general obedience training with Helping Hounds LLC.
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