Obedience training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context. Obedience training ranges from very basic training, such as teaching the dog to reliably respond to basic commands such as "sit," "down," "come," and "stay," to high level competition within clubs such as the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club, where additional commands, accuracy and performance are scored and judged.
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Just as a child needs a caring parent; an athletic team needs a coach; your puppy needs a leader and a clear social hierarchy. If you do not take up the role of leader, your dog will; and you will end up with an unruly, disobedient dog. Many people try to win their new puppy's love by letting the puppy always have its way. Buckets of affection is a wonderful thing for most puppies, but it must be tempered with respect.
We offer classes for puppies (up to 18 weeks of age), rescue dogs and adult dogs. Each class has at least two trainers and a maximum of six dogs, so you will be sure to get lots of individual help and support! When you book into Dog School, you will be invited to come along to an introductory session without your puppy or dog. This session is completely free and will introduce you to some of the important principles that make Dog School unique and prepare you to get started on classes! Check the lesson plans for each type of class below and get signed up with your nearest Dog School.
Like small children, puppies have short attention spans and get tired quickly. Keep your puppy training sessions short – 5 to 10 minutes is enough – but regular. Two or three short training sessions every day is ideal. And, remember, you can build in the ‘come’ command throughout the day; for example, when you want to feed your puppy or play with him.
With your dog sitting at your side, set off and give the command “heel” (so that your dog is aware you are about to move). If the dog gets ahead, stop and encourage it back to your side with a titbit. Repeat. To begin with, stop every three to four paces to praise your dog and give a titbit. Do not use your voice unless your dog is at your side. You can also practise this off-lead in a secure area – this makes you work really hard at keeping your dog with you, rather than relying on the lead.
Often, the sit command will be one of the easiest for your dog to learn first. Next, you can train your dog to lie down. At the same time, work on teaching your dog to stay. In addition, your dog should be trained to come when called as soon as possible. This is one of the most important fundamental commands. Once your dog has mastered these dog obedience basics, you can move on to fun tricks and advanced commands.
We will try our best to make sure you see the same coaches each week for your classes, because we think it is important for us to get to know you and your puppy. The coaches work in teams of three, so you should get to know all the team members over your course. Occasionally there may be a change in one coach because of sickness or holidays, but if this is necessary, we will try to ensure that you are introduced to your new coach the week before the change so that they are familiar with you and your dog.
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