Of the many responsibilities placed on dog owners, obedience lessons are perhaps the most important for any new or seasoned dog parent to pursue. Dogs will learn both basic and advanced commands in these classes, including “sit” and “leave it,” that are vital to their well-being and to your relationship with your dog.
A Lesson for Two
Obedience classes are designed for the benefit of both your dog and you. These lessons offer you the opportunity to bond with your dog while also learning the most effective ways to communicate with them. It is important for all dog parents to find the right training style for each individual dog. Obedience lessons offer an opportunity to learn this.
Socialization is the Key to Success
Allowing your dog to socialize and interact with other dogs is one of the best ways to help them lead a healthy and happy life, and the controlled environment of an obedience class is a great place to give your dog this opportunity. Dogs will learn how to behave around older and younger dogs, as well as smaller and larger dogs, and this will help them in future interactions with other dogs.
There is no Age, Origin or Breed Requirement
Young puppies and senior dogs alike can benefit from obedience classes, though it is recommended to enroll your dog in classes as early as possible to enjoy the benefits for as long as possible. Many programs offer classes specifically designed for certain age ranges, and while it is important for dogs to be exposed to dogs of other ages, it can be helpful for them to learn with their own age group.
Whether you adopted your dog through a rescue or purchased them through a breeder, obedience classes should always be one of your first priorities. Many dogs from both sources will come well-socialized, but just as many need the extra involvement that classes such as obedience lessons offer.
In an obedience class, your dog will be exposed to dogs of all sizes, as all breeds can benefit from these lessons. Tiny Terriers and cute Chihuahuas all the way to majestic Mastiffs and grand Great Danes need to be taught basic commands, and it is important for all dogs to learn how to properly interact with dogs that are smaller and larger than they are.
Containing the Excitement
Many dogs that will benefit from obedience classes are simply overexcited, and this leads to undesirable behaviors. Some of these behaviors include jumping on people, barking and inappropriate urination. These dogs are misbehaving because they are unable to focus beyond their own excitement; obedience lessons will teach these dogs and their owners ways to cope with the excitement that leads to poor behaviors.
Overcoming Fear through Structured Lessons
According to Beyond the Leash, fear and anxiety can both cause undesired behaviors as well, and obedience classes help to structure your dog’s life in a way that their fear becomes manageable. Owners of fearful and anxious dogs often face destructive behaviors and difficulties with house-training; obedience lessons help lessen both of these problems. Teaching a fearful dog basic focus commands, such as “sit” and “see me,” can give owners an easy way to stop these behaviors when they are occurring so that they can train the dog away from these behaviors.
Opening the Doors to More
Obedience lessons are a basic requirement for training for other sports, such as herding events or agility trials. Show dogs and sporting dogs alike will benefit from obedience classes, as the commands learned in these lessons will be utilized in all their future training. For first-time handlers, obedience lessons are an invaluable way of learning to communicate with your dog before beginning more advanced training.
Good Citizens are Obedient
For many dog parents, obtaining their dog’s certification as a Canine Good Citizen is a goal. This may be because of housing, service training or working goals. Regardless of the reason an owner is pursuing this, all dogs must pass basic obedience classes before they can qualify for their Canine Good Citizen certification.
Providing Service and Support Starts Here
Service dogs and therapy dogs require a vigorous training schedule that begins with obedience classes. A dog must pass obedience lessons before an owner can begin training them to perform specific services or to make visits as a therapy animal. These classes not only teach them the commands that will be necessary to do these jobs, but the lessons also offer owners an opportunity to determine if their dog is able to adequately perform the duties with the focus desired.
Overall, obedience lessons provide invaluable training for both dogs and their owners. These classes allow owners and their dogs to bond while simultaneously correcting undesired behaviors or training for future endeavors. No owner should feel a sense of shame enrolling in obedience classes; they can only benefit your dog.