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Basic Obedience Training: At Last! An Obedient, Happy Dog

Basic obedience training is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your dog. Training strengthens the bond between you and your pet by building understanding and mutual respect. It can open up a means of communication that can become a solid foundation for solving any behavior problems that might arise.

Dog will be dogs.

Dogs are social animals and will behave like animals without proper training. Nearly all behavior problems that dogs exhibit are perfectly normal canine activities that either occur at the wrong time or place - or are directed at the wrong thing.

For example, a dog may soil the carpet rather than eliminating outside; he may bark all night long instead of only when a prowler is near; or he might chew the furniture instead of his own toys. Dogs must be taught to redirect their natural behaviors to outlets that are acceptable in the households of their human companions.

A trained dog is a happier dog.

It's important to remember that you are responsible for teaching your dog what is - and what is not - acceptable. Once you teach your dog how you want him to behave, you'll have a happier household - and a happier dog. A trained dog requires fewer restrictions and so can be given greater freedom. When a dog is trained and well-behaved, he is a pleasure to have around because he can go almost anywhere without being a nuisance to others.

A trained dog is a safer dog. Obedience training can help prevent accidents and tragedies. Dogs that have been taught to "come," "sit," "stay" and "heel" can be led out of potentially dangerous or emergency situations. For instance, if a trained dog gets free from his leash and is running toward a busy street, he can be stopped in his tracks with the "heel" command.

A trained dog is a dog kept by his owner. Statistics show that puppies that receive early socialization and obedience training are far less likely to be turned over by their owners to animal shelters than those who do not receive this early training.

Getting started is easy. Obedience training should be fun and rewarding for both you and your dog, not only enriching your relationship, but making living together more enjoyable. There are as many methods available to train your dog as there are venues for training. A little research will go a long way when trying to decide what method and process is best for you:

  • For do-it-yourselfers, there are a wide variety of training book and videos written by training experts.
     
  • Training classes are available in every town and city. You can find classes listed in the Yellow Pages under "pet training" or "dog training". Your local park or recreation department may also offer classes.
     
  • If you prefer one-on-one training with a private trainer, experts are available in most areas.
     
  • You can even learn how to train your dog using online dog obedience training tutorials and courses.
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