Why I Think Most Dog Obedience Classes Are A Waste Of Your Time And Money

Posted: July 19, 2014 in Dog Behavior, Dog Training Methods and Ideas, My Phiosophy On Dog Training, Puppy Training
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Let me begin by saying that with all things there are exceptions to the rule.

and now on with my story…

I left this place scratching my head in total confusion.

I kept thinking to myself on the ride home, “Is this what dog training
has evolved into?”

Let me tell you why I will never set foot in another dog obedience class, and why I think they are a total waste of time and good money.

A few years back when I was first starting my online dog training
business, I decided to visit a few obedience classes to see what all the
fuss was about.

What I saw made me more nervous than a long-tailed cat in a room full of
rocking chairs.

There were people walking their dogs in and out of cone pylons, zigging
and zagging in any number of geometric patterns, none of which I could see
had any real world applications, and every so often they would have the
dog sit for maybe 2 seconds and then give the dog a treat.

Not once did the instructor speak about corrections or discipline, which
by the way is one of the corner stones of my dog training philosophy.

I did not see anything that would help keep a dog from jumping up on
people or stealing food off the counter, or be able to be around other
dogs without reacting, which is what most people want from their dogs,
and the thought of treating a dog for basically nothing at all really
made my skin crawl.

Everything the dogs did in these classes was motivated by food rewards.
Not only is this impossible it’s not something you will see in nature.

So I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and did some investigating.

I asked several people I knew that had problems with their dogs and more
often than not these people had at one time or another had their dogs in
obedience class.

Fast forward 6 years

If anything has changed it’s been for the worse, most of my work is un-
doing what was done to the dogs in a formal obedience class. You only
need to look at the streets in your neighborhood to find dogs pulling
people down the street, and if you knock on any number of doors you will
inevitably hear someone yell, “There’s someone at the door put the dog
away!”, followed by uncontrolled insane barking.

These dogs won’t sit for more than a few seconds, rarely will come when
called without being bribed, and forget about holding a stay for any
length of time, it’s just not going to happen.

The simple truth is that dogs and their owners who attend formal
obedience classes are not taught the correct way and much of what they
are taught is unnecessary.

This is why I think the dog training obedience classes are a waste of your
time and money, not to mention detrimental to your dogs well-being.

People don’t want their dog to be like the “Littlest Hobo”

Most of the people I work with just want well-mannered dogs that for the
most part are easy to handle and stay out of trouble. So you have to ask

With the large number of dogs coming out of obedience class with no
usable skill and in most cases worse off than when they went in, is it
the dogs fault, the owners fault, or it the methodology messed up?

So just in case you’re not convinced by my insightful posting and you are
hell-bent on taking your new puppy  or dog to obedience class..here’s my number

Keep it in a safe place cause I will be hearing from you real soon.

If you liked this post then let me know by liking my facebook page River Valley Dog Training

if you look to your left you will see the big like button just give it a click..

Your support is very much appreciated.

All the best


  1. Sky Runner says:

    Ha, ver-90py late to this, but was googling around after a bad experience with a very expensive pupply “kindergarten” course.

    Puppy classes were recommended by everyone — the vet, other dog-owners, our building management, etc. So we signed up with one of the highest recommended puppy “schools” in San Francisco.


    Hundreds of dollars and six weeks later, we have a greedy, begging, manipulative dog. He will not take a step unless he’s rewarded with treats. He reverted to peeing on the floor unless we treat him to go outside. He has turned the entire “positive reinforcement” model around to suit HIM.

    Thankfully, he’s still young enough to unlearn bad habits and after a few days of firm, corrective training, he’s doing much, much better. Just wish we hadn’t lost both the time and money we wasted at the puppy classes.

    One other note — often these classes are a way for trainers to upsell private training and intensive classes and so in — in this case it was doggie daycare and puppy social hours. We don’t need puppy daycare and he socializes plenty at the local dog park and with dogs in our building and neighborhood.


    • Most puppy classes or dog training classes in general, are like you say, just a way for people to make money. That being said there are some good ones and are worth every penny. I wish you the best of luck turning your little feller around, and hey, you came to the right place to learn how to do it in the easiest way possible, you will only find common sense training advice that works both here on my website.Thanks for dropping by and please come back again real soon. If I can ever be of any help, just write me and I will get back to you in a reasonable amount of time. All the best, Harley


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