One of the first things many people do when they first get a new puppy is to seek out classes for obedience training for dogs.  This helps to prepare your pet for new situations that they will encounter throughout their life, making them a much more enjoyable lifelong friend. However, some owners can’t afford to pay someone else to train their dog or they just want to do it themselves.

Either way, there are two basic approaches to obedience training.  The first way is negative reinforcement using techniques such as shock collars and choke chains. The second and more effective way is through positive reinforcement with clicker training and rewards.

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The Benefits of Obedience Training for Dogs

Puppies are full of energy and fun. They also tend to be somewhat destructive. Therefore, teaching them how to respond to specific, well-delivered commands will keep you from getting frustrated and them from getting in trouble. That also means you will learn how to give those commands.

Some people don’t hold up their end when it comes to owning a pet. It needs to be a two-way street. You can’t expect a dog to magically become trained. Starting them with basic commands including how to sit, stay, heel, come and so on will create a bond between you and your dog, especially when you use positive reinforcement.

An important aspect of obedience training for dogs is leadership. You must appear to your dog that you are the leader, the one in charge, and that they must listen to you.  If you assert your dominance over your puppy at all times, your dog will have a much easier time following your lead as the Alpha.

Alpha leadership is the cornerstone of all good training.  It has to be in place before you will be successful at training your dog to respond to commands like sit, speak, and down.  As your dog starts to react to the fundamental requests such as heel and come, you can build on this to add in more tricks later.

Two major issues with obedience training for dogs are barking and biting. Dogs bark for many reasons such as alerting you to something or someone, which is usually a good thing, but they also bark because of anxiety, boredom, and sometimes to just get attention. In this case, get your dog’s attention and try to redirect their attention on something else.

Biting on the other hand is a dangerous behavior that must be stopped early on. Playful biting is natural for a puppy but you must not encourage it. Aggressive biting is scary and can cause harm to others as well as being a liability to you.  The main reason a dog becomes aggressive goes back to the leadership role. If your dog believes that it is the dominant one, it is much more likely to bite.  Other reasons are fear, pain, and redirected aggression.

There are three main keys to bite prevention.  First of all, you need to understand why your dog is showing aggression. Next, you need to socialize your puppy early on so it gets used to a variety of situations. Last of all, it is important to teach the family to respect the fact that a dog is an animal and not a person with instincts that are innate.

One more issue to touch on with obedience training for dogs is leash training. If you are tired of having your dog pull you down the street, you have to stop the behavior. When your dog starts to pull, stop and don’t move again until it stops pulling or lunging.  Then you can reward your dog when it comes back to you and stops pulling.  Use a consistent signal that it is time to walk again.

Whether done by a professional or by the owner, obedience training for dogs sets the foundation going forward. Keep in mind that it takes time and patience to train a dog yourself.  If you have a busy schedule and struggle to find time to spend with your puppy, consider finding a class to help with the basics.  In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

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