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Are Dog Training Group Classes Necessary?


Your puppy or older dog has completed basic obedience training. Congratulations! You and your pet have not only developed trust and strengthened your bond, but your puppy or dog is well on their way to becoming a loyal, loving companion.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan knows dog training is truly a lifelong pursuit. As your puppy or dog masters the basics, you can move onto more complicated tricks and training. Maybe you’ve progressed from “sit” to seeing how long they can hold it, or you’re working on taking your pet through an obstacle course.

It can be hard to come up with new ideas to train your dog, and after months of having structured training one-on-one with your pet it can be especially difficult to know what to do next. What will benefit both you and your dog the most?

Dog Training Elite offers dog training classes in Grand Rapids for puppies and older dogs that may be the answer you’re looking for. While group training classes aren’t always necessary, they can be extremely beneficial to both your dog and you.

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Benefits of Group Classes

Just like humans, dogs all have their own personalities. Some may receive and respond to all the training they need from private, one-on-one instruction, while others may find great benefit from attending a group class. Group classes can be a great asset to both dogs and their owners, since it provides them with many different situations and experiences they may not otherwise have. Here are some other benefits of attending group dog training classes:

Group dog training classes have a number of benefits, particularly with socialization. Taking a puppy to group classes once they’re immunized will help them grow into a well-socialized dog comfortable with other dogs and humans. Older dogs who weren’t well socialized as puppies can learn to socialize in a small, safe environment. Trainers will recognize signs of possible conflict between dogs and help owners learn how to diffuse situations and take care of their pets, and dogs will learn how to interact appropriately with each other.

Dog training classes can also be beneficial for owners! If you bring your dog to a group class, you’ll meet other dog owners and become part of a community. Dog Training Elite West Michigan likes to make group classes exciting for both dogs and their owners, so expect to learn fun training games and enjoy an environment that feels less like a class and more like a social outing. Classes meet once a week, and both you and your dog will look forward to going every week.

Besides the socialization benefits, group classes are a great tool for dogs to learn to work around distractions. If your dog is perfectly obedient at home, but loses his or her mind at the dog park and forgets all they’ve learned, group classes are the way to go. Group classes are a safe way to help your dog learn to listen to you, even when they’re surrounded by exciting sights, smells and sounds.

In a dog training class, you are in control of the training. While your pooch may occasionally be used as the ‘demo’ dog, there will be very few instances where your dog only has to listen to the trainer. With a class, you are the trainer, and the instructor is just acting as a guide. With all of Dog Training Elite West Michigan’s training options - in-home or through a class - you will always be the No. 1 trainer, not just sitting on the sidelines as someone else takes charge.

Each dog is unique, and the small classes at Dog Training Elite West Michigan will allow you and your dog to still receive personalized attention and training. You will also have the opportunity to learn from other dogs and their owners. Imagine the trainer advises another owner how to help their dog learn to play independently. Later, you might remember the advice and apply it to your own dog, away from the class.

*Classes are open to all dog breeds and sizes, but all dogs are required to be immunized.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan is proud to have the highest rated group dog classes in Grand Rapids.

Our Balanced Theory

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.


Dog Training Elite West Michigan is the top company near you that uses professional positive dog training methods.
Empowering Owners

We empower owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.

Personalized

We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.

Environment Specific

We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).

Supportive

We support owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").

Involved

We work with all members of the household.

Simplified & Customized

We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 15 min/day follow-up practice.

Continued Training

Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.

Lifetime Investment

We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.

Satisfaction Ratings

Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.

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The Dog Training Elite West Michigan Difference


Regardless of whether it’s an in-home training session or a group class, the Dog Training Elite West Michigan training method is the same. Dog Training Elite West Michigan focuses on positive reinforcement, also called “Classical Conditioning” or the “Pavlovian” method. Research has shown positive reinforcement to be more effective with longer lasting results than other training methods.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan does not use punishments or shock collars and instead pairs positive reinforcement training with an electronic collar for superior results. An electronic collar is not a shock collar and does not harm the dog. It is a gentle electronic pulse, similar to the tug of a leash, used to get the dog’s attention. It is never used as a punishment for bad behavior.

Other dog trainers use harsh static collars or spray collars which have been shown to be less effective. The difference becomes clear when comparing a dog that is trained out of anxiety and intimidation vs. a dog who truly desires to please from the inside out. Dog Training Elite West Michigan’s method of focusing on positive behavior reinforcement nurtures a dog’s loving and naturally obedient nature.

Signs Your Dog is Ready for Training

Every dog can benefit from training, and it can sometimes be a lifelong pursuit. If you’re wondering if training is right for you, here are some signs your dog is ready for training:


Whether it’s chewing on furniture or shoes, going to the bathroom in your house, or anything else your dog is not supposed to do -- it’s time to get them trained out of these sorts of behaviors. Even older dogs who were previously well-behaved may develop bad habits later in life and need a training refresher.

Aggression can manifest itself in multiple ways; perhaps your dog growls or snaps at you when you get close to his or her food, or toys. Even more concerning is when your dog is aggressive towards other dogs or humans. Yes, sometimes dogs play in a way that seems aggressive, but if your dog is lunging at or snapping at people or other dogs while you’re on walks, it’s time to get a trainer’s help.

Walking nicely on a leash does not come naturally to most dogs but it is something that can be learned. Again, even older dogs who previously walked well on a leash may start to act out.

If your dog is dealing with severe separation anxiety, or is fearful in new environments, a trainer can help. For separation anxiety a trainer will work with you and your dog on a routine to reassure your dog. General training, especially in group classes, can help dogs build confidence.

Or on walks, or whenever you’re outside. If your dog is obedient when they’re in your home, but loses their mind outside, he or she would benefit from more training. Group classes can be especially helpful because they put your dog in a safe environment with the kinds of distractions you experience outside. Training your dog in situations where there are other distractions helps them learn to obey even when there are other stimulating sights and sounds.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan provides professional and personalized dog training programs in Grand Rapids.

Join a Group Class Today!


Don’t wait! Find your nearest Dog Training Elite West Michigan location to find a group class schedule and join a group dog training class today. Start building a community for you and your dog, and continue to strengthen your bond with your furry best friend.

Find a trainer near you today!

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

Working with Carrie has been absolutely fantastic. After the first lesson, our Samoyed Henry, was a doing so well. By the second lesson we were amazed and moved to tears at the transformation. Such a relief and joy to see Henry be able to run in the yard, off lease, without fear of him running off. He is one happy 6 month old. I cannot say enough about Carrie and this program. I’d give it 10 stars, if I could. 😊
— Mary Koenigsknecht
Posted November 5th 2022
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My experience with Carrie and DTE has been absolutely wonderful! My relationship with my puppy has completely changed. We are bonded in such an awesome way. I was at my wits end and ready to give up. Carrie truly cares about her clients! Thank you for teaching us how to train Willow to be the best possible dog she can be!! 💗
— Tonya Mannes
Posted September 20th 2022
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DTE has helped our family so much! They have turned our crazy 1 year old doodle into a well mannered polite little gentleman. These training sessions have made it so much more enjoyable being around our puppy and to take him out with us! Definitely recommend to anyone with a new puppy!
— Tessa Kervin
Posted August 23rd 2022
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Dog Training Elite West Michigan has been wonderful to work with. They have been professional, caring, and so responsive. Their heart is in the right place! Highly Recommend!
— Katie Matt
Posted August 10th 2022
google
I have seen the effectiveness of DTE West Michigan's training methods and the positive transformation in the behavior of the dogs they train. Carrie and Jess want each owner to have the best possible relationship with their dog so that they can experience all the fun activities and joy that dogs bring to our lives. If you would like to make your dog a bigger part of your lifestyle, I encourage you to contact DTE West Michigan.
— Vince Conrad
Posted July 28th 2022
google
I have never been more excited and happy after meeting Carrie and Jessica.. They are so good at what they do and my dog Macie 🐕 is learning so much and follows my command. It has taken so much stress off me she doesn't pull like she use to and walks right beside me and so much more.This happen within a few weeks. It was the best decision i made and highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about dog training. Well worth the money!!
— Barbara Botbyl
Posted July 20th 2022
google
We were desperate to find a training program that would work for our 2 year old puppy. We could not control her barking constantly around friends & family. In fact we actually had considered giving the dog away. But before that happened we decided to give our dog another chance using Dog Training Elite. Carrie & Jessica are very professional & a pleasure to work with. They would praise both our dog & us when we did things correctly, and also corrected us when gave a command that might confuse our dog. With out a doubt this was the best money we ever spent!!! Jim
— Jim Kidd
Posted July 18th 2022
google
My Son told us about Dog Training Elite and how it changed his dog. So we called them and Jessica Maxwell and Carrie McIntyre came to our house to discuss this training program. They were very friendly and excited about this program. I will say that it is expensive but the results are amazing. We were to the point of thinking about giving Charlotte away as we could not control her constant barking. Within the 1st week of training the barking stoped and she stopped jumping on people. She would also run away when we wanted to take her for a walk. Week two now she comes we we say come and we do not have to chase here all over the house. We have tried different training program but this by far the best. It has truly changed our dog and also the stress is gone for us trying to control her. Thank you again Dog Training Elite for helping us with our baby.
— Judy Kidd
Posted July 4th 2022
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Carrie and Jess are fantastic trainers. They are dedicated and truly passionate about improving the bond between dogs and their owners. I highly recommend them for all training needs!
— craig fizer
Posted June 14th 2022
google
Carrie and Jess are such wonderful dog trainers. I've seen them work with care and professionalism. What a great team to have working with your dog!
— Valerie de Armas
Posted June 1st 2022
google
Carrie is a dedicated trainer that is caring and passionate about helping others. Her energy and joy in what she does is evident and shows in her dog Sturgill.
— George Rehbein
Posted June 1st 2022
google
Carrie is such a great trainer and is so passionate about what she does!
— Kelley Rosequist
Posted May 24th 2022
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite West Michigan, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite West Michigan work's with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

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Dog Training Elite West Michigan - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
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