I have been asked the question, “When will my dog be fully trained?”. The answer, “Never”. Just like humans, dogs learn their entire life. They are constantly taking in information and using it to their advantage. The other thing to consider….behavior is not static. It is constantly changing. We are not the same as we were 10 years ago….we may enjoy different activities than we did, we may prefer one type of exercise over another, and we may have developed an interest in another subject.
Dogs are constantly changing….but luckily, their are plenty of options out there to help keep the education moving forward.
Most places offer puppy classes, basic manners, advanced manners, and CGC (Canine Good Citizen). These are the very least that you should provide throughout the first couple of years for your dog.
From here, there are plenty of other fun classes to consider:
Agility, Rally-O, Dock Diving, Scent Work, Trick Training, Formal Obedience, just to name a few.
You may have try several before you find a good fit: for instance, my German Shepherd wasn’t thrilled with agility (we tried 2 classes before I called it quits), but was wonderful at Rally-O. My Goldendoodle enjoys Therapy work …..visiting hospitals and bringing much needed joy to those who could use a hug!
Many places offer a brush up course for the basics, which is never a bad idea. Just getting your dog into a new situation with new challenges is a great way to mentally wear them out!
The learning should never stop……the next step is up to you!