So you just adopted a new fur child and cannot wait to start bonding with the adorable pup. Many shelter have started to require or highly suggest that people who adopt dogs take them to an obedience class. It is the first step to a successful and nurturing relationship with your dog.
There are many benefits to teaching Fido to sit, stay, come, and walk nice on a leash. These are just a few things that a basic obedience class will cover. You can expect your dog to learn to sit, stay, come, name recognition, down, leave it, the proper way to greet someone and how to walk on a leash.
“When you have a trusting, cooperative relationship with an animal (whether it’s a dog, cat, parrot, horse or other animal), you have his respect, and he’ll want to spend time with you and work with you,” states Behavior Consultants at Best Friends, an animal welfare leader.
There are puppy classes for puppies 6 months and younger. Any dog over 6 months would enroll in a basic obedience class. Most classes last for six to eight weeks with weekly one hour classes. No matter the age of your new dog, they can benefit from some training with you. The training can also help change unwanted behavior through positive reinforcement of the correct behavior.
“Regardless of an animal’s age and past experiences, such ethical training methods give the animal the best chance for living happily and comfortably in our hectic human world.”
Dogs learn the new commands through positive reinforcement, which is usually in the form of a tasty treat. Find what motivates your dog wether it is a treat, verbal praise, or a toy. Be sure the trainer you pick only uses positive methods, also known as relationship-based training, to enhance your relationship with your dog. To find the best fit for you and Fido, ask your vet, dog friends, groomer or local pet store for recommendations.
Benefits Of Obedience Class With Positive Reinforcement
1. Closer Bond With Your Dog- The basic class with help establish you as the leader and teach your dog to listen to your commands. The dog will be happy and relaxed with a knowledgeable leader to follow.
2. Safety- When your dog knows the basic commands like “come”, “stay”, “leave it” they can save their life. If your dog is taught to come when you call, then you can hopefully stop them from running in the road after a squirrel.
3. Social and Friendly Dog- Young dogs should be socialized with other dogs to keep him friendly.
4. Fun and Trick Training- You can take pride in how smart your dog is and discover how dogs learn. It could lead to other more advanced classes or fun activities like agility.
5. Walk Nice on A Leash- Properly and gently teach your dog how to walk on a leash. Everything should be done with a gentle hand and positive reinforcement. No more being pulled down the sidewalk.
There are a few tips that you can do to make the class as beneficial as possible. Each dog is an individual and needs to be treated as such. Consistency is key, so use the same word and hand signal for the command. Be sure to reward the behavior immediately, so the dog realizes what behavior you are praising.
Be patient and practice everyday for 10-15 minutes. However, only teach one command at a time. Once your dog has mastered one, then move on to the next.
Although it will require patience and time on your part, it is well worth the relationship and bond you will build with your dog. You will be amazed at what you learn and how well behaved your dog can be.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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