Private Training Sessions or Group Classes? How to Decide Which is Right for Your Dog

When it’s time to take your puppy for training, one of the first decisions you need to make is whether you should sign them up in a group class or opt for private training sessions. There are advantages and disadvantages to each, so it’s worth taking a little time to figure out which one will provide you and your pup with the right level of service and support to get through training successfully.

Private Training vs Group Training

As the names would suggest, the difference between private sessions and group sessions is the number of people involved besides you and the trainer. Private sessions will be you and your puppy alone with a trainer, while group sessions could include one or more additional dogs and their owners. There is no set number of maximum people in any given group session, so if you are leaning in that direction, it’s a good idea to check with your canine training academy to find out exactly how many people they allow in a group class, or how many are signed up for a specific class they offer.

How to Decide

When making the decision between private or group classes, there are several things to consider.

Private training classes are best for:

  • Shy dogs that would not respond well (or at all) in a group setting
  • Owners that don’t have a lot of flexibility in scheduling and need to be able to choose the days and times
  • Dogs with special needs, such as high levels of anxiety or aggression that would make it hard for them to participate productively in a group class
  • Dogs that already have the basics down, and you want more advanced or specialized focus on certain areas of their behavior

On the other hand, group training sessions often work best for:

  • Dogs that are shy or need to learn socialization skills, and whose shyness wouldn’t hinder their performance in class
  • Dogs that just need to learn the basic skills from a set curriculum
  • Owners with more schedule flexibility who can participate whenever the group classes are held
  • Owners on a budget that don’t want to spend the extra money on private sessions (if this is the case but you feel like you need private sessions, talk to the training academy about semi-private options or small group class availability)

If you’re having trouble deciding which is best for you and your dog, talk to the knowledgeable and helpful trainers at Innovative K9 Academy today to find the right training class.