Recently my mum and I were out with the dogs, doing some work with the
horses and we saw a big brown snake up in front of us. When we finally stopped squealing and realised that the dogs were moving towards it we had to yell out to them. Rose, my mum’s Kelpie x Cattle dog came back as soon as she heard my mum say “Rose Come”. Lilly, my Dalmatian, took a little bit more convincing but did stay away from the snake and come back to me. This has happened a number of times over the years and it reminded me how important it is to have control over your dog.
Dog training and obedience is an important and necessary part of owning a dog. There are many benefits to dog training and obedience but I think the most important is that having an obedient dog is safer for both the dog and people around it. If your dog is obedient you can call them away from dangerous situations like snakes or cars. Dog training also helps form a strong bond based on trust and respect between you and your pooch. Basic obedience helps a dog understand its place in a household and trained dogs are less likely to develop other behavioural problems like biting or jumping up. Dog training and obedience is fun and rewarding for both you and your dog. It fulfills needs in your dogs life like exercise and mental stimulation as well as allowing them socialise with other dogs.
There are plenty of obedience classes and clubs around most areas. Generally classes are broken up into levels and when you and your dog graduate from one level you can move to the next. The first level usually involves teaching your dog basic commands like stay, sit and come as well as socialisation and walking on a lead. As your dog improves they can move onto the next level which is a bit more complicated generally with some off the lead work. After the basic commands are learnt there are generally further classes offered for advanced obedience and training. These advanced classes start teaching dogs more off lead work and some fun agility tricks like jumping.
Once you have completed some basic obedience you may choose to continue training and join a Dog Agility Club. Years ago my mum did some agility classes with Rose and she loved it and to this day, when asked, Rose will still do things like jump through hoops or balance along logs. Agility training in dogs requires an obedient dog and a bit of work but it is extremely fun. Agility is a dog sport where you work with your dog and can compete against other dogs. It is like an obstacle course including jumps, hoops, tunnels, climbing, weaving and much more. Dogs really enjoy this and they always look like they are having great fun playing a game and pleasing their owner. There are also agility competitions which give you the chance to be competitive in the sport.
You don’t have to take part in classes to teach your dog obedience, you can work on it at home. Every dog should learn the basic commands like sit, stay and come, just to make life easier and safer for the dog and people around. All family members should also learn the basic’s on how to control your dog to ensure that they are obedient for everyone and in all situations.
Each dog will take to training differently depending on their personalities but nearly all dogs have the ability to be trained. The younger you start training your dog the better but remember you can teach an old dog new tricks. Obedience training requires time, patience, persistence and consistency but the benefits of a happy, healthy and controllable dog are worth the work.
There are so many training aidsavailable including books, collars, clickers, halters, harnesses, leads, treats and toys, so why not have a look at vet-n-pet DIRECT and improve on your dogs training and obedience.
For more information on dog agility go to the Agility Dog Association of Australia website at http://www.adaa.com.au/. For contact information on Dog Obedience Clubs in Queensland visit http://www.qldstateobediencetrials.org or in New South Wales http://dogsnsw.org.au.
Until next time,