Don’t Go To Obedience Classes!
Why would a dog trainer who teaches group classes say that?
Group classes are great for teaching basic good manners and things like “sit” or “come”. But if your dog has behavior issues, an obedience class is not likely to help at all and may even be detrimental. Here’s why:
A large number of behavior problems in dogs are fear based. Yes, even what appear to be “aggression” problems. When dogs are fearful, their two main options are: fight or flight. Most dogs would choose flight, but the way we make them live—in houses, on leashes, generally in close quarters with people and other dogs—they usually don’t have that choice. So they might choose the option where you see teeth flashing.
If your dog is afraid of people or other dogs, then a group class is the wrong place for him. He will be in over his head and his fear will likely increase.
If your dog is just unruly, wild, too friendly, doesn’t listen, steals your socks, runs away whenever you open the front door, and is generally having a great time being naughty . . . then yes, go to obedience class.
If your dog is afraid of something or appears to be aggressive in any way, you need personal attention and behavior modification with a professional, positive reinforcement, force-free trainer (like Puppy Love!).