Friday, August 8, 2008

Dog Obedience Training

Dog Obedience Training 101. OK so you've brought the new dog home. Maybe its a puppy, or maybe its a dog you adopted from a shelter. Its exciting! But a few days go by and you find your dog is jumping on you. He's chewing up the furniture. He attacks the neighbors that come by to see your new dog. He pulls you on the leash. He barks all the time. What is a new dog owner to do?

Well dogs are not machines. They are living beings and to live with humans successfully, they need dog obedience training. A dog doesn't come pre-programmed with instructions on how to treat the furniture or who to bite or not bite. We have to teach him how. But where do you begin?

Click here for Dog Obedience Training Book

As a new dog owner, you have several options, and they are not mutually exclusive. The first thing you need to do is sign your new dog up for a good obedience class in your area. This might sound like an inconvenience, but investing a few weeks in going to doggie school will pay off big time in the long run. But to make it work you've got to treat it like you would anything else. You wouldn't expect to become an expert tennis player after 4 or 5 lessons would you? No! To get great at tennis you have to practice, practice, practice! Its the same with dogs. Dog training, when done right, takes time and effort. The payoff is a dog that becomes a long lasting member of the family, instead of a dog that chews up the furniture and ends up in an animal shelter.

Try to find a dog obedience school that spreads a class out over 6-8 weeks. This gives you and your dog time to take in the dog training in small bites (no pun intended). The first class they might talk about basic dog handling, then they will teach you how to walk a dog properly, how to get him to sit, and how to make him stay. These are all vital skills your dog needs to master to become a successful member of your family and to keep him safe throughout his life. Its not just about keeping a dog from jumping on people or chewing up the couch. A dog that will sit and stay on command is one that you can save from running out on the road and getting hit by a car or from going after a rattle snake and getting bitten.

When going through dog obedience training, don't just show up for class. Practice all week long. Do it in small sessions. Think of your dog as a kid with MAJOR attention deficit disorder. Train him for 10-15 minutes, and then give your dog a mental health break. Let him go play and romp in the backyard, or take your dog for a walk. Then do another training session several hours later. This lets the dog absorb information at a rate that is appropriate for dog learning.

The second step you should take is get your hands on several dog training books. One book I recommend can be found online here:

Click here for Dog Obedience Training Book

I have read and studied this book and recommend it to all my friends that are dog lovers. A good dog training book should be comprehensive. It should discuss what dog ownership involves, the size and breed of dog which is generally suitable for different people and lifestyles, and how to care and feed for your dog. Then it should discuss different training methods . Look for dog training books that not only talk about how to teach your dog basic commands like sitting and laying down, but dog training books that also discuss behavior problems. You might find yourself owning a dog that is aggressive or one that is hard to potty train. Or maybe your dog jumps on grandma. How can you deal with these issues? Find a book that describes these sorts of problems so you can deal with him.

The third step you should take is familiarize yourself with professional dog trainers that do one-on-one training in your local area. Talk to people who've used them, or discuss it with your vet. That way if serious problems arise, like a serious aggression problem, you know who to call on for help before you start considering taking your dog down to the local animal shelter.

In any case, have fun with your new dog! Invest as much time into petting her, throwing balls, giving her treats and walking her as much as you do in dog training. Then she will have a long and happy life.

Click here for Dog Obedience Training Book

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