Group Class vs. Group Social

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group-socialWhat is Group Social?

Since we get this question often I thought I would add some commentary on the subject and explain what it is and why we do it.

Group Classes?

We do not offer group classes. Group Social is kind of our spin on group classes. But rather than being where dogs come to learn new things, socials are where dogs come to practice and strengthen their skills in many different environments. Our dog training in Greenville is always done one-on-one with a dog trainer soley focused on you and your dog. For this reason Dog Psychology and Training Center… doesn’t have a ‘training center’ as you would imagine. We had a training center and did group classes when we started and what we heard over and over was “he listens so well here, but not so much at home”. This statement has since shaped our philosophy on dog training and our current approach.

Dog Training Center?

All of our dog training in Greenville SC is done one-on-one. For private lessons we train either in your home or our in our home “training center”, if you will, which is an attached garage converted into a dedicated training space. With our board and trains, the dog comes and stays in our home to be trained. When a dog comes to stay with us they learn their basic commands in a low key “quiet” area of the home, this could be the training center, family room, or foyer. Basically, we start in a very low distraction environment where dogs can learn new things with as little stress as possible and then have appropriate rest or “soak time” where they are able to process what they have learned in a quiet comfortable place. Once they know their commands in both board and trains and private lessons, we test and strengthen them in the other areas of the house, (living room with kids and/or other dogs present, kitchen, kids play room, etc.) then outside, public places etc, etc.

Location Matters

Kind of like when we ask our 3 year old’s teacher, “how did Raider (our son) behave today?”… and while anticipating what our son had destroyed today or who he had terrorized. To our surprise we are told he was an angel. Why is this?…

People and dogs are location oriented. If you think about it, you will find that even you yourself will act differently in different environments and with different surroundings. Another example is when you go to pick up the kids from grandma’s house and they ask for the unthinkable, candy and coke at 8pm… you ponder why there is even confusion on the subject because the question doesn’t even arise at home… just at grandma’s house.

Why We Don’t Do Group Classes Anymore

When we operated with the group class model we struggled to walk along side each dog at their own pace. Too often we would have one dog in class that was struggling with the classes pace and another dog that was absolutely bored because they were more advanced than the rest of the class. Engagement is key when trying to teach your dog something new. So even though the bored dog was advanced in comparison to their peers they are more likely to misbehave when they are disengaged from what you are trying to do with them. Make sense?
Group class worked for a large percentage of dogs that came to us but there were always dogs left behind.

What Group Socials Looks Like

Our Group Socials take place at a variety of places including public parks, downtown Greenville, vet offices, pet stores and pet friendly general shop stores like Tractor Supply, Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc. Pretty much anywhere that dogs are welcome that we can get a small group together with their dogs and exercise their skills with one or more trainers there to assist.
Group Socials are an exclusive only for our graduates.


Learn Even More

We also have a brief video or Krystal explaining the what and why for Group Social in her own words. Since Group Social is somewhat unique to us we really wanted to make sense of it. CLICK HERE to check out the video.

Eric Nierman
Owner/Dog Trainer
Dog Psychology and Training Center

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