OBEDIENCE TRAINING IS CRUCIAL
Obedience training is important. Imagine if you did not tell your children the difference between right and wrong! Having a poorly trained dog can be a problem. The majority of breeds that need obedience training are the larger breeds of dogs particularly the retrievers, shepherds and other giant breed dogs. Look at the picture above. Does it look familiar? Most people can identify with a pet tugging at the leash. I usually asked clients who is taking WHOM for a walk?! I have had clients that suffered fractured wrists or sprains with the leash hook wrapped around their hand and the dog takes off and twists the hand and wrist.
Dog obedience training also helps in social situations. You may enjoy your dog jumping up on you but there are people that are afraid of dogs and many people get upset with ANY dog that jumps on them. Obedience training will take care of threat. Also commands such as: stay, roll over, come plus taking food or whatever from the dog without it getting aggressive.
WHAT ELSE DO TRAINERS DO?
Many trainers are also qualified to handle difficult situations such as dog/dog aggression or dog/people aggression. A lot of problems with dogs in neighborhoods involve excessive barking. This is a condition that can be treated by dog trainers without using shock collars.
One common canine trait that gets dogs hit by a car is the dog that bolts out of the front door when it is opened. Dogs can be trained to sit and after a certain command or time, the dog is allowed to go outside to play. Another trait that people dislike are pets that beg for food at the dinner table. Giving in to a dogs demands and darling little brown eyes will just lead to obesity and gastrointestinal troubles. Much quicker to head it off at the pass with good obedience training that can stop that behavior by positive reinforcement.
Animals have quirks. They fear people in uniforms such as the delivery man or mailman. A common quirk that I have heard over the years are dogs that attack, chew at, try to mate with a vacuum cleaner. Dogs will also bark at it, defecate on it. Just use your imagination. This behavior can be changed with a course in obedience training.
BEST AGE FOR OBEDIENCE TRAINING
The old adage that you can’t teach an old dog tricks is true. An older dog is set in its ways; good or bad. It is much easier to start obedience training with a puppy that has a “clean slate”. The best age for commencing obedience training is anywhere between 4-5 months of age. Younger than that, the dog does not have the mental capacity to learn as it is discovering what life is all about. Older that that, lots of animals have already formed habits which are hard to break. On the other hand, if you just got an adult dog as a pet do not give up. It is worth a try to go through obedience training.
A lot of obedience training is done in puppy classes throughout the country. Most dogs are about 50 pounds and up but clients have told me they see little toy breeds every once in a while. All obedience training organizations require that an animal be up to date on all vaccines including rabies. The minimal age for rabies vaccination in the dog is 12 weeks of age. Fecal check for parasites is also required. There are trainers that will come out to your home and provide private lessons. This is more expensive than a group teaching session but if it is difficult for you to go to a class after work, than this might be a viable option for you.
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
Okay. You have taken your puppy to its first puppy obedience training class. Now what? Between classes you have to practice and repeat what was learned at the previous lesson. Practice makes perfect or that is what they used to say! If you run into problems in between teaching sessions, I am sure the trainer would not mind a phone call or email regarding a problem you are having.
Enjoy working with your dog? You have just successfully completed puppy obedience training 101. Most trainers have more advanced courses on specific obedience training subjects or problems. You can imagine the obedience training that hunting dogs and police dogs go through. To watch these dogs in action is truly beautiful. Obedience training works miracles and after all is said and done, you will be so proud of yourself and your pet!