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Group Training vs. Private Training: What’s Right for Your Dog?

One of the greatest holiday joys you can experience is bringing a puppy home to be the newest addition to your family. And giving your pup a fur-ever home is surely a gift for him, too! No one can deny how special it is to embark on a new relationship with a pet, forming a bond that lasts a lifetime.


Part of building that relationship, however, requires effort from both parent and pooch, especially if he or she is a puppy. These formative years for him are crucial. Much like a child, your dog’s early life experiences will inform what kind of adult dog he will grow up to be! That’s why we recommend pet parents to immediately consider training when getting a new pup. But should you opt for group training or private? What’s the difference, and how do you choose? 



Luckily, Pet Waggin’ is here. As you know, we’re the best gosh darn pet specialists you’ll find in Long Beach and not just pet sitters, but dog trainers, too! We’re here to tell you all you need to know about group training or private training, and how to choose:


Group Dog Training


There are a few obvious benefits to taking your dog to group training classes, or “obedience school.” What most pet parents consider first and foremost is how much money they want to spend. Group training tends to be cheaper than individual training, but that doesn’t mean that cost should be the only factor to consider.


Other considerations include:


Socialization: For young puppies, group training can be a good way to kick off his or her socialization skills. They will quickly learn how to be comfortable and polite around both dogs and humans! However, you should also consider your dog’s personality. Does your dog tend to act hyper and distracted around other people? If you know he or she will have a problem focusing, or that you will have trouble keeping his or her attention, you may want to consider private training. 

Note: If you’re wanting your dog to learn to socialize, but prefer private training and don’t want to pay for both, consider a doggie daycare or perhaps ask your dog trainer to accompany you to the dog park one day to help with positive social interactions!

Lessons: Because trainers are given the task of teaching multiple dogs at once, group lessons tend to be geared more broadly. Think of a school curriculum, with lesson plans—you won’t have much say in what your pup is learning that day. However, most of the lessons offered with group training can still prove valuable to the young pup! Basic skills around socialization or obedience (“Sit, Stay”) are no doubt important… it just depends on what you and your dog needs. And, if money is a concern, you may want to ask yourself what basic training commands you can learn on your own instead, right off YouTube!


Group Dynamics: When shopping for group training, you should think about the different personalities that will occupy the room. Are there classes specifically for rowdy dogs/shy dogs, or is this a more general setting, like Petsmart’s puppy or beginner training classes?



Private Training


With private training, you and your pup will work closely with a professional trainer, both at home and outside (aka wherever your pup needs it most). This is one of the most common reasons why pet parents will choose private dog training. Your pup will be exposed to more diverse settings and be able to apply skills at home, while group classes tend to be held in static environments.


Here are other factors to consider:


Scheduling: Do you have a flexible schedule? Most people find it difficult to attend class at the same time and day every week. Some pet parents who opt for group training for the cost end up losing money because they sometimes have to miss classes! Professional private trainers will work around your schedule (since it’s 1:1) so that neither you nor your pup will ever miss out.

One-on-One Attention: With private training, it’s all about focus. You and your pet will get all of your trainer’s attention, but your dog will also have an easier time focusing. Especially if your dog is shy or anxious, private training will be a great way for him to learn without fear and distraction. Because of the private setting, this one-on-one attention will also be particularly beneficial for building a close bond with your fur-ever friend! 


Detailed and Tailored Training: Whether your pup needs to learn the most basic commands or you’re looking for something a little more advanced, private training will offer a wide variety for learning based on your dog’s specific unwanted behaviors. Additionally, you might want to opt for private training if your pup is older or has different needs. Private training also offers more opportunities for experimentation. You and your dog are there to learn together, and that means these classes should be for you, too! With a private trainer, you will learn more about what works for you and your pup, you can try new things, and see what does and doesn’t work. 


Especially if you have a new pup, you’ll want a private trainer to help incorporate him into his new home and your particular family’s dynamic. Do you already have a dog? Our private dog trainer, Noah, can help introduce the two and ensure a long and beautiful relationship! 



As you can see, there are many benefits to private and group dog training. At Pet Waggin’, we believe strongly in positive reinforcement training techniques that will help motivate your dog. With our trainer, both you and your pooch will be excited to learn, and have fun doing it!


Pet Waggin’ believes you can teach an old dog new tricks. New, young, or old, Pet Waggin’ offers several packages to fit your specific needs. Learn more about our training services, and how we can help you build or deepen the bond you have with your pup fur-ever!