Is it a good idea to start with"professional" training early on (our lab is 8 weeks old) or when will it be a better age?
Reason is that I just talked to a trainer (charges $300.00) for 6 weeks of in home training - 1 day a week -1st. day 2hrs, remaining 5 - 1hr a day) he says it is better to start early.
We have ordered some books and a video that might help.
What have you done with your own puppies? What are your personal views on professional training?
We went to puppy kindergarten class at a training facility. I am thinking it was $80 for 7 or 8 weeks although differs by area. That way you not only get the training but also your dog gets socialization with other dogs which is really important. It will teach the basics and then you can take additional classes later.
I would say no to the home training. The idea of attending puppy training classes with other puppies and owners is primarily for socialization. Classes are a really important part of development. Realistically puppy classes are the only way your pup will get to interact with other pups (as apposed to adult dogs) unless you know other puppy owners. Don't forget that classes are also great fun for owners...they teach YOU how to handle your dog and the social aspect is also a benefit especially if you don't know other "doggy" folk. You can potentially make some good contacts through puppy classes.
The only reason I can think you would need a private in home trainer would be for very specific behavior issues. Not necessary for the average dog IMO.
The trainers in my area charge 1000 euros for 7 hours training (a week) (basic obedience only). Only "rich" ppl live around...
Next step according to those trainers is to make your dog a "protection"dog, meaning they take him at their places, beat the s**t out of him/her, terrorise him, and make him bite anything that moves.
A Doberman attacked me 6 years ago in our park while being "trained"...
No wonder Greece has so many stray dogs, who wants to keep a killer in their homes...
I train my dog myself, he is responding great, and he is the best behaving dog in the whole area.
no experience with a professional trainer, but we did puppy classes starting at about 14 weeks, primarily for the socialization aspect, as we started basic commands and training earlier than that at home. it cost about $120 for 8 weeks and was well worth it.
We started puppy classes at 18 weeks, after all of the shots. Sami has gone through several obedience classes since then. BUT I didn't wait until 18 weeks to start training her. We worked on basic commands at home and she was doing great by the time we got to puppy class. No matter what you learn in class, training is really up to you. You will have to devote the time and energy into practicing.
You should be able to find books on dog training at your local library. Start w/ sit and keep your training sessions really short (after all they have the attention span of a flea now ;D). Just practice throughout the day, or even better, incorporate training into your day. Sami is 15 months old and we still practice throughout the day -- we'll heel around the house, do puppy pushups (sit, down, stand) for a treat, practicing waiting to go outside etc.
Are you talking basic obedience or field training? For field training, lots of people work with professionals, and it's probably a good idea if you've never trained a gundog before. But the best way to do that is probably to get involved with a local training club. The training is as much for you as it is for your dog.
If you're talking basic manners & obedience, I personally wouldn't pay that much. There's a lot you can do on your own and supplement with a training club, humane society classes, etc. If you plan to do competitive agility, obedience, etc., with your dog, there's an argument for working with a pro from the get-go.
We took Jack to 2 puppy kindergarden classes at around 8 weeks (we started late because we got him at 5 weeks old & he was way to young to go to the first few classes) we also did very short and fun training at home
Then we took him to basic obedience I believe it was $100 for 7/8 weeks of group training and our trainer (who charges 120 per hour for home training) said group training is BEST for there socialization & a great way to bond with your pup and other owners.
I'll tell you Jack really loved it (so did me &DH) he know when we were going and now he is Noivce and all I have to do is ask is if he wants to go see Vince (thats his trainer) and his ear perk up and the tail starts to wage like crazy
IMOP you should call around and see if there are some group classes in your area they should be alot cheaper and more fun for you and your pup. ;D but thats just my thoughts
We have always had "in home training", which has worked well for us. It takes a lot of patience and discipline, sometimes more on the owners part!!!
Socilization is one of the most important parts of puppy training, if you do begin in home training, make sure the pup has exposure to "the outside world" during training. An unsocialized Labrador at an older age can make for a mean, and difficult dog...(not always, but we had difficulty with one!)
As far as Formal Field Training, I would leave it up to the professional!
Puppy Kindergarten is probably the best place to start with a young pup, reasonably priced, and begin training for both you..and the dog!