Obedience Training for Dogs
Posted January 03, 2017
If you’ve recently added a puppy or dog to your family, consider
obedience training to help build a healthy relationship between you
and your pet. Though training your dog requires patience and
commitment, the positive benefits of obedience training are worth
Kit Darling, Infection Control Coordinator for the Texas A&M
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said
there are many benefits of obedience training, including building a
closer, positive relationship with your dog, teaching your dog life
and social skills, and helping prevent your dog from developing
unwanted behaviors. Additionally, Darling said a dog that
will come when called may help avoid life threating situations,
such as being hit by a car or having a bad encounter with another
Though obedience training has many benefits, dog
owners may wonder how long the training process can take. According
to Darling, the answer depends on what your goals are for the dog.
To teach your dog basic manners, such as to sit, come, or stay, a
basic level obedience class may be the best choice.
“Most of the basic level obedience classes are six to eight
weeks,” Darling said. “Each class is about an hour long, and
training sessions at home may be as short as five to 10 minutes a
couple times a day, four to five times a week.”
In addition to basic level obedience classes, there are also
intermediate and advanced classes, Darling said. But in order to
teach your dog even the most basic commands, positive reinforcement
is a must. Giving your dog treats is one of the most common ways to
motivate your dog to learn new commands, but other forms of
positive reinforcement, such as clickers, can be used as well.
“It is important to find out what motivates your dog and to use
it as a positive reward during training,” Darling said. “Clickers
may be used to mark the wanted behavior and then the dog can be
rewarded with treats, a toy, or praise.”
Additionally, Darling said if you choose to use food or treats
as a reward, it is best not to feed your dog close to training
time. Your training lesson will be most effective if your dog has
an appetite so they can choose a treat they really like.
If you decide to enroll your dog in obedience training, it is
important to choose a trainer and training program that you are
comfortable with. This could require some research, but Darling
said your friends, veterinarian, humane society, groomer, and
boarding facility may have good recommendations.
Some questions you should ask yourself when searching for a good
obedience trainer and program include: What type of training is
offered? Do they train the dog with or without you? Are there group
classes, private instructors, or both? What type of training
methods are used? What are the trainer’s credentials?
Furthermore, if it is a training facility, be sure to check for
cleanliness and vaccination requirements before enrolling your dog
into class. If possible, Darling said to observe a class to see if
the trainers, dogs, and clients are happy during training.
If you have recently adopted or purchased a new dog, or want to
polish Fido’s basic obedience skills, obedience training is a great
way to train your dog while also building a healthy relationship.
Though obedience training requires patience and dedication, the
benefits of a well-behaved dog are endless.
“One of the best things you can do for your puppy or dog and
yourself is obedience training,” Darling said. “The experience is
worthwhile and can help you raise a happy, well-adjusted
Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine
& Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University. Stories can be
viewed on the web at vetmed.tamu.edu/pet-talk. Suggestions for
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