For the love of your pet: Obedience training a must for every dog

June 5, 2014 at 1:05 a.m.

By Shana Bohac

This is a must for every dog: Regardless of size or breed, it is never too early to start obedience training. Early training is an important part of responsible dog ownership. Obedience training techniques lay the foundation for a well-behaved and well-adjusted dog.

A dog that hasn't been trained to obey his or her owner's commands can become dangerous and a nuisance. Properly training your dog is one of the best things that you can do for him or her.

A dog that is well-trained and responds to your commands is less likely to be left behind when the family goes for a walk, on a road trip or to visit relatives. The dog will know exactly what is expected from him or her in different situations, so he or she will be more relaxed and obedient instead of being confused about his role.

There are some ways to increase the effectiveness of your dog's obedience training. You will want to use positive reinforcement for desirable behaviors, such as obeying a command or going potty outside. This can be a verbal reward or praise as well as a treat. When the behavior is undesirable, make use of proper corrective methods.

You will want to be consistent with your rewards and punishments so that your dog will understand which actions are desirable and which are not. Repetition and consistency are very important parts of proper training. Never correct him or her if he or she hasn't done anything wrong at that exact moment.

Timing is of the utmost importance in dog training. Don't wait to correct him or her - ensure he or she makes the connection between bad behavior and your correction immediately. This is also the case for good behavior. You will want to reward immediately so that connection is made as well.

It is best to keep training short and simple. Puppies have a short attention span, so a few minutes a day is sufficient. Start with simple commands, and once these have been firmly established, progress to more advanced lessons. You will want to make obedience training a daily part of your life.

Training a dog isn't something that happens overnight. It must be done patiently and consistently throughout the dog's life. If training at home is not for you, then the next best place to start is with obedience classes.

Having the help of a professional when you are first starting is very valuable. Once your dog has learned to obey and responds to basic commands, you can continue the training at home.

Pet owners can learn training basics for their dogs through researching websites, books and canine magazines that offer advice. You can also visit with your veterinarian for information regarding training or recommendations on local trainers.

A well-trained dog can be a true joy. Obedient dogs are often welcomed in many businesses and public areas. Give your pet the proper skills it needs to successfully interact with human society. It is a gift you will both cherish.

Dr. Shana Bohac has a veterinary practice at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Victoria. She works on both small animals and equine patients. Submit questions to



Powered By AffectDigitalMedia