How long will it take to train my dog?

Her whole life! Seriously, this is an impossible question to answer. It depends on you, your dog, and your training goals. My 14-year-old terrier mix, Josie, is still learning new things. Every time you are with your dog, every day, one of you is training the other. If we stop training our dogs, we become the trainees – which doesn’t usually bode well for the dog-owner relationship!

Most basic training classes are six to eight weeks long, with you going to class once a week with your dog, for about an hour each time. At the end of a basic class, some dogs are well on the way to being reliable with their basic cues and behaviors, others still have a long way to go. Once you have completed basic training, you can find opportunities to continue your dog’s education to more advanced levels, where he will become reliably responsive to your hand signals and voice cues, even at a distance, even in very distracting environments. Finally, if you choose to do so, you can pursue training even further and explore the almost endless list of great dog sports and activities.