Most pet owners want to ensure that their furry friend is well-trained for guests coming over or special occasions. Vale Park Animal Hospital provides several opportunities for training through a series of classes.
Melissa Carmichael, the dog trainer at Vale Park, notes that there are five different categories for training at the animal hospital. She differentiates between what takes place with the basic and advanced training opportunities.
“Basic training includes teaching commands to the dogs such as sitting down and staying,” Carmichael said. “With advanced training, we work with the dogs to do those things with the distractions of other dogs and for a longer period of time. Working on getting a dog to pay attention to his owner as opposed to everything else going on around him is extremely important for us.”
Puppy class at Vale Park Animal Hospital is the beginning of basic training while promoting good behavior in the process. As for the intermediate class, the primary focus is building on the base skills developed from beginner classes. However, there is also a stronger focus on adding distance and duration on top of learning fun tricks at the intermediate level.
Vale Park trainers also present the opportunity for one-on-one training with the pets. With private training, the focus is on the pet’s behavior and any issues that may arise. Daycare training is another form of one-on-one that usually takes place when pet owners bring their dog to Vale Park and they aren't as used to interacting with groups of dogs just yet.
When it comes to testing, Carmichael describes the importance that the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) training opportunity has on the pets that come into Vale Park.
“For CGC, the dogs must pass a 10-item test,” Carmichael said. “The test helps educate the pets and prove that they can be well behaved in the home, public places and around other dogs.”
The ultimate goal for Vale Park through these courses is to not only ensure proper pet behavior at home and in public but also to make them more social and explore in different environments. Carmichael stresses how socializing and each dog making new friends is a critical component to what the animal hospital is all about promoting.
“Socialization is the most important thing that a pet owner can do for a puppy,” Carmichael said. “It teaches them how to react in situations that involve people, other pets and things in the environment that they will encounter every day.”
Carmichael believes there are plenty of values to take from this training that can create long-term benefits in the process.
“Training is a great way to bond with your dog and prevent bad behaviors from forming,” Carmichael said. “Whether it’s a new puppy or an older rescue dog, every dog has the ability to learn whatever we try to teach them and they love to learn.”
The courses at Vale Park are four weeks long and cost $165. The private training sessions are $50 per hour.