Can I train my dog myself?

Can I train my dog myself is a question often asked by dog owners, especially those who have not owned a dog before. The short answer to this question is yes, you can. Even if you have never trained a dog yourself, there are enough resources available to help you. These include articles, books on dog training, videos and many other aids. I personally train my dog, but then I have been a dog lover and owner for many years.
One of the challenges in using the resources mentioned above in training my dog is that one does find contrasting advice and methods in the material. I then have to decide which elements to incorporate in my dog training and what to ignore. This decision is mainly based on common sense and has a lot to do with my own character, i.e. what works for me?
Another approach to training my dog myself would be to enrol at one of the many dog training schools or courses. This has a number of advances over the do it yourself method. The first big advantage is that you have an expert with extensive experience available to assist you and answer any questions or uncertainties that you might have. This is especially beneficial if you experience problems specific to your dog or your circumstances.
Another huge advantage to attending a dog training school is the socialisation aspect. Your dog will come into contact with many other dogs and people and training him in this environment will teach him the appropriate behaviour hen things get busy. Dogs not trained in socialisation typically get either nervous or overly exited when suddenly confronted with more activity than normal with the result that they are difficult to control under those circumstances.
Even if you do decide to attend dog training classes, that is only a small part of the overall training that you will have to do with your dog. The bulk of the training should always happen at home in your daily interaction with your dog.
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