Are Group Classes Right for My Dog?

At K9 Turbo Training we have group classes that cover every age and subject from baby puppies learning about basic manners, to improving a shy dog’s confidence, reducing reactivity, or just having fun! Group classes are not the right choice for every dog, but for those dogs who learn successfully in a group, they can be enormously helpful. Here are a few tips to help you decide whether group classes could be useful for your dog:



If your dog struggles to behave nicely around other dogs, group classes may or may not be the right choice. It’s tempting to think that getting your dog into a group class and just practicing the “right behaviors” will fix the problem, but sometimes we need to look a little deeper. If your dog barks and lunges at other dogs, has a history of aggressive behavior, or completely zones out when other dogs are nearby, it’s best to consider a specialty class (like our reactive program) or begin by building a training foundation in private appointments.

You might be wondering how you could possibly fix those problems, which you experience around other dogs, if your dog is not training with other dogs present. Keep in mind that your dog is not the only one we will be teaching. You also will be learning a bunch of new skills and working to absorb new information. It’s often not practical for the human half of the training team to learn something new, when the dog half of the team is expressing themself in a loud and distracting way. In private appointments, or an online pre-requisite class, you can absorb essential information, and build muscle memory, so you’re prepared to respond correctly when you “go live” around other dogs.

Alternatively, if you have a dog who isn’t always on their best behavior around other dogs, but isn’t barking and lunging, can generally respond to you, eat treats, and show increased relaxation over time, group classes might be an excellent option! You’ll want to choose a class level that fits your dog’s stage of life and learning history. Our “Manners” classes split dogs into 3 age categories: Puppies who are less than 6 months old, Teenagers who are 6 months - 14 months old, and Adults who are 12 months and over. The educational content and discussion topics in each of these classes are tailored to the unique needs of dogs in these age groups.

We also categorize classes by subject matter. In our “Manners” classes we teach you how to teach your dog polite behaviors like lying down, staying in place, going to a mat, coming when called, moving cooperatively with you on a leash, and leaving tempting items on the floor. Your trainer will lead the group in discussions to problem solve for crate training, teething, preventing resource guarding, and more. There are also drop-in versions of these classes available, which focus on one specific skill, if your dog needs some extra work in a particular behavior. After finishing the foundation curriculum your dog will be eligible to continue into next level classes, in which we’ll challenge them to practice their new skills in increasingly more complex scenarios, building toward real life application of polite behavior.


In our confidence and games classes, you and your dog will learn to work as a team to build focus while enjoying the world around you. These classes promote physical activity, cognitive challenges, and a strong relationship between you and your dog. It’s amazing how encouraging our dogs to just have fun with us can even have a positive impact on their ability to behave politely. The more your dog sees you as the source of all good things, the more likely they are to respond to you, even when faced with distractions. Most classes in this category can be taken at any age, but our agility classes are limited to dogs over 10 months old, in order to avoid injury to the growing joints and bone structure of younger dogs.

No matter what training format you choose, the most important thing is that you and your dog both feel comfortable and able to learn. Every person and every dog has individual needs that should be respected in order to keep learning enjoyable. We are happy to help you find the best fit for your situation. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions!


Email us at info@k9turbotraining.com or call 248-733-5738.




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