Getting started with Dog Obedience Training
This was my standard handout for dog obedience classes.
You will need:
- Time – 1 hour a day
- A sense of humor
- A strong desire to succeed
- Sometimes called a “chain” or “choke” collar
- To insure a proper fit, the collar should slide easily, but not loosely, over your dog’s head. A training collar that is too loose will not work properly.
- Choose one with wide links – training collars made with thin narrow chains tend to cut into the dog’s neck.
- Don’t skimp on quality when choosing a training collar, pick a brand that is guaranteed against rust and breakage.
- If you have a shy, timid, or very small dog, we may decide to use a leather collar for training.
- Should fit tightly enough that only 2 fingers will fit between the collar and your dog’s neck. This is a safety precaution. If the collar is too loose and your dog balks or backs up, a loose collar will slide over your dog’s head and come completely off.
- Depending on the situation, the size, sensitivity, and temperament of your dog, we may recommend the use of a ‘pinch’ or ‘prong’ collar for training.
- Small dogs and puppies that are shy, timid, very young, or very submissive may be started with a leather collar. It should fit tightly
enough that the collar cannot accidentally slip off your dog’s head.
- Nylon slip collars will not be practical for training as they have a tendency to get caught in long hair, will heat up with repeated use, and often do not release properly
- Retractable leashes and chain leashes are not practical for training.
- It is very important that your leash be six feet long. A four foot long leash will not be long enough to teach ‘stay’ and ‘come.’
- Leather is better, but nylon or cotton will do just fine.
- When choosing a leash, find something that feels comfortable in your hands. Something light and thin will be fine for small dogs, but if you have a large out of control dog, you will want a leash that will not cut into your hands.
- A good clasp is very important if you have a big strong dog, or a dog that pulls hard on the leash.
- When teaching your dog something new, choose a place to work with your dog where there is a minimum of distractions.
- When practicing commands that your dog already knows, choose a place with many temptations and distractions so that you can reinforce the training.
- A large area is nice, but all you really need is enough room to walk with your dog at your side.
- As soon as your dog knows and understands a command, begin to use it as part of your dog’s daily life. Do not, however, overwhelm your dog with obedience, especially in the beginning.
- For puppy classes, treats are a great asset, but for the basic obedience training, I do not recommend the use treats as part of the
- This is because too often the dog learns right away to only perform if there is a treat involved.
- When dogs are stressed or nervous, when they are excited about new sounds and smells, when there is the distraction of other dogs and new people, or if your dog is timid or shy, they are not the least bit interested in even the most savory of treats.
- Also, the goal is for the dog to obey you, and listen to you because they love and respect you, not because there’s something in it for them.
Written by: Shirley Gibson
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