June 2024
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postheadericon Education begins at home, but it doesn’t end there

Education begins at home, but it doesn’t end there. It’s important that you supplement your dog’s home schooling with a good obedience class – or several! Why is obedience school so necessary? Well, here’s a starter list:

1. You and your dog will learn more advanced commands. You’ve got a good start with “sit” and “let’s go,” but in class you’ll master exercises like “down,” “stay,” “heel,” “stand” and “come” as well – the vocabulary she’ll need to become a really responsive and trustworthy friend and partner.

2. Your instructor can address your specific needs. Books and videotapes are great, but they can’t stay after class to discuss your dog’s individual problems or strong points, they can’t demonstrate new moves to you, and they can’t tell you whether you’re holding your leash funny or giving your dog a confusing command. There’s really no substitute for the one-on-one attention and suggestions of a good instructor.

3. You ‘II learn from the other people and dogs in the class. Your classmates may have new ideas for you, or you may pick up tips just from watching them. And you’ll find that they’re sympathetic to your problems and proud of your successes in ways that your non-dog-loving friends may not be.

4. Your dog will get used to other people and dogs. This is a biggie. No amount of backyard practice can teach your dog to behave in the presence of other exciting people or pups. And if your dog is still a little worried about the world at large – and many of them are – obedience class will give her a chance to make friends and gain confidence. So even if you’ve already been through obedience class with another dog and know the ropes, it’s a good idea to take your new dog to a class of her own.

5. It’ll give you an incentive to train your dog. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s tough to get motivated for your daily training sessions when you know only a couple of exercises and you don’t have an instructor and classmates to keep you from getting lazy!

6. You’ll have a terrific time. Obedience class is fun! You’ll make new friends (I know several married couples who met in obedience class) and get lots of exercise, and your relationship with your new dog will soar to new levels. And who knows? You might just get hooked on dog training and find yourself with a new hobby.

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