Why Bother With Dog Obedience Training?


You’ll be surprised how many times I’ve heard people ask me the above question, and I’ll start with an example using my dogs and myself to best illustrate my answer, which is always, “Yes, take your dog for Obedience Training, and you’ll see the difference between living with an unruly dog and one that has training.”

report card casey n alex front page

Our first dog, Casey, was challenging, to put it mildly, and just like many pet parents we knew nothing about dogs so I went to the library and read as much as I could on dog training.  I, then, realized that I needed to get Casey enrolled in an Obedience Class and find the right trainer for him.  The first trainer did not work out because she had a very high pitch voice and Casey would get scared, so we tried a second trainer, Janet Bennett, and she was perfect for us.  Casey got his first report card for completing Basic Obedience I on April, 27, 2002 and I was so happy that, only pet parents will be able to understand this, it trumped getting my MBA.  Don’t take me wrong, I was extremely happy when I got my MBA, but that first report card made me ecstatic.  I worked so hard and so long with Casey and I enjoyed the classes so much that I took with Casey: Obedience I, Obedience II, and Canine Good Citizen with the same trainer, Janet Bennett.

report card casey n alex back page

In late 2002, we added a new member to our family, Alex, and she got her Obedience I on September 4, 2003 with the same trainer.  As you can see based on the report cards, Alex did better than Casey.  And you know what’s funny?  I worked longer with Casey than Alex.

After taking a total of four (4) classes with my dogs, were they perfect?  No, but they were certainly more manageable and we enjoyed having them.  The point of training is, at least for me, to be able to enjoy, manage, and provide structure for your dog.  Once you have taken your dog for some training, make sure that you incorporate that training into her everyday life/routine so there’s no excuse like, “I don’t have time to train my dog.”

IMG_5774

By the way, the only time I tell a pet parent to hold on training is when behavior needs to be address first, or there are medical issues the dog is going through and need to be resolved.

Janet Bennett passed away a couple of years ago, but I admired how she commanded a room and trained dogs so much that after thinking about it for the last couple of years, I decided to work on getting my Dog Trainer Certificate.  I am very excited about embarking in this new endeavor so wish me luck and have a great weekend.

Before I forget, Precious Pet Cottage does not offer training anymore and I don’t get paid to mention them.

44 responses to “Why Bother With Dog Obedience Training?

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    • Thanks. I cannot go into a lot of detail because every dog is different so giving pet parents a general idea or info is best. I do always recommend to find a trainer in the area and go from there. Have a great weekend:-)

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  3. Howdy! This post could not be written any better!
    Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept preaching about this. I’ll send this
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  4. Any ideas on how to stop a dog from running in the house? Kita sometimes does that when we let her in. Result: she runs up to someone and greets them enthusiastically. One family member ended up with bruises on her leg from her enthusiasm.

    • Omg. I had a similar problem with Bella, my foster failure and this is what I did: Once we got back from our walk, I asked her to sit and stay while I removed all her gear. Then, we both went up the stairs, and I asked Bella, again, to sit and stay while I changed my clothes. Once I finished, I released her saying, “Go.” If she started to run, I went and got her, do not scream at your dog, and put her back on the same position she was before I released her. I made her wait a couple of minutes, and then I released her again. After a few times, she stopped running inside the house. When dogs do not get to exercise by walking or running, they tend to be more of a handful at home. I get Bella to walk with me twice a day for about 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hour. I hope that helps:-)

      • Odd part is that Kita sometimes does that AFTER she’s had a walk (latest episode was after a walk to the office).

      • Alex, my other pit mix, used to do that too right after our walk. What did I do? Once we got home and I finished brushing her and wiping her, I like my dogs clean, I told her to go to bed. After about a week, she stopped running inside the house.

      • Tried something different today. I walked with Kita to the office, then kept her on-leash until she was sufficiently calm to walk over for a greeting. THAT idea will need a bit more work.

      • Understood. Just have patience and keep at it.

  5. I really like reading through an article that will make people think.
    Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  6. Kita came to us when she was 8 months old. She didn’t have much training, and I didn’t do a great job of doing it myself. Off I went to the local Petco for 8 weeks of training (positive/obedience training). After some trial and lots of error (on my part), Kita now walks by my side and does well with people (interacting with dogs is taking more work).

    Of course, she does forget–and so I have to remind her (sometimes just showing the treat works).

    • That’s great. One thing I tell pet parents, and remind myself, is that dogs and us, pet parents, will make mistakes. But, that is how you learn. Getting a dog to interact properly with other dogs take time, patience, training, etc., but I am glad you are still at it. Keep up the good work:-)

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  15. Thanks for sharing this information. Puppy training is really important. It’s like our kids getting involved in school. It will harness our pup’s skills, attitude and knowledge. Just wanna share this useful tips, this is based on experience. I am a dog trainer and you know what, I always get along with different dogs. Dogs are pack animals, they follow their leader. I got the secret formulas on how to become a pack leader. It’s amazing how things got easier after that. Have you established your role as a leader? There are bunch of video tutorials online that will help you get along with your pup. You can visit me at http://myobedientk9s.com/ for more details. Have a nice day! 🙂

  16. Lovely to read how rewarding training is in providing a great relationship.

  17. The comparison between the two dogs is interesting. Am with you that getting the dog trained improves quality of life for both the dog and the human 🙂

    • Would Alex have also performed better because you are more experienced at managing a dog after training Casey?

      • I never thought about it, but no, I don’t think so. After years of dealing with dogs, I’ve learned that all dogs learn at their own pace and that is why I tell pet parents not to compare one dog with another one because that is not fair. Some dogs, just like us humans, learn faster than others, but that was a good question. Thanks.

    • I am glad you do, and I say this based on experience.

  18. I personally promote positive recondioning vs obedience training. It is about rewarding positive behaviors making for happy companions, vs training to be obedient. I do beleve thst this is much more than semantics, it more about educating away from negative by accenting and rewarding the positive. I never have to use the word no.

    • I am with you, but from experience I can tell you that when I tell pet parents about rewarding positive behavior vs obedience training, the prefer the latter. I’ve seen many trainers in action, read many books, and experienced different things with dogs, and I can tell you that yes, rewarding positive behavior is best, and that for some dogs, behavior needs to be addressed before starting any training.

  19. Good luck for the dog trainer certificate.

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