The Importance of Obedience Training


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The Importance of Training Your Dog

Puppy classes are available for dogs as young as 2 to 5 months old. These "kindergarten" classes are designed to socialize puppies and teach the very basics of training. Other basic obedience classes (not specifically designed as puppy classes) allow puppies to start training at 5 to 6 months of age. Virtually all of these classes turn training into a time of fun and bonding that makes it easy for puppies to learn. If it isn’t fun and successful for you and your puppy, look for another class.

There are many different books available on training your dog. These can be found at your local library, in pet shops and general bookstores. Remember that the authors have diverse ideas and the various techniques may differ quite widely. No one trainer or author has "the" method. What works well for one dog (or one type of dog) may not necessarily work for yours, so experiment until you find the right approach for you and your dog. You can start with some of the books on our Recommended Reading list.

If you decide you are ready to start your Brittany in Obedience classes - Don't Wait

Many kennel and obedience clubs train for and administer a "good citizen" test for dogs. These tests demonstrate good, basic canine manners and may be administered as part of a class or given at dog shows, Humane Society days, County Fairs, or other community dog activities. Passing the test leads to a title known as the CGC (Canine Good Citizen).

After you get started, you may become interested in obedience competitions. A good place to start is at "matches" -- casual and inexpensive practice events that are sponsored by dog clubs. These events will give you experience and help you decide whether you’d like to try earning a title in actual obedience competitions.
Attending some trials or matches as an observer will give you the chance to see dogs and handlers in action. You also can meet other dog lovers who share your interests and who usually can help you find classes and events in your area. By far, the best part of watching a trial is seeing the teamwork, communication, and bonding that has developed between the dog and handler as the result of training together.

You can find AKC obedience and kennel clubs by visiting the AKC site at http://www.akc.org/dic/clubs/search/club_search.cfm or click above. You can also search for upcoming events on the AKC site.

Although not as numerous as AKC events, the United Kennel Club (UKC) also offers obedience competitions. There are some slight differences in the skills and exercises involved but the competitions are very similar. You can learn more about UKC obedience here.

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