Does your dog:
A. Sing at three in the morning?
B.Eat furnishings, clothes and garbage indiscriminately?
C. Beat up other dogs (and cats)?
D. All of the above?
It's time for dog obedience training. Not the occasional spanking or heart-to-heart talk with dog biscuits as a sideline -- the real brass-tacks version, whose formal, logical methods have proven successful through years of refinement.
You have two options: You can train the dog yourself by attending group obedience classes, which educate both you and your pooch, or you can let someone else train him, in your home or at their place.
At group obedience classes, the dog learns obedience and you learn to communicate through exercises and commands. This is particularly good for new dog-owners.
These classes usually have between 15 and 20 dogs with owners, which gives the added benefit of socializing.
Basic training involves learning to heel on a leash, sit, stand to be examined (great practice for vet visits) and return on command. Later advances include sit and stay (even when you leave), lie down and stay, and so forth.
Obedience training is beneficial on a daily and long-range basis, at home or in a show. Imagine the frightened postman's delight at a dog that stops in his tracks at one command, or the admiration of the Fine Arts League when your puppy sits quietly through a luncheon. Obedience can also keep your dog safe: you holler and he stops chasing cars.
Obedience training can also pave the way to the dog show ring, where pedigreed and non-pedigreed dogs alike may participate in fun matches. Formal titles (such as C.D., for Companion Dog) are awarded by the American Kennel Club for pedigrees only. AKC-sanctioned shows are also frequent, providing good discipline for both dog and owner.
If your situation or enkvironment demands outside training, check the Yellow Pages under "Pet Training." Basically this type of training involves a trainer who will come to your home to work. This school of thought believes the dog will benefit more if he is not removed from his own surroundings. Programs vary, but home training can last for six to eight weeks, with a handler dropping by at least once a week. Prices are often set after an evaluation by a company representative: specific problems, age, breed and so forth. Evaulations are usually free.
Some commercial trainers will also pick up and deliver your dog for an extra charge if he is being trained within their facilities.
Besides obedience, there are other sorts of training for dogs and owners: theatrical training (hand and silent signals or tricks) is offered by some places, which sometimes act as a booking agency for dogs inclined toward show biz. But a screen test requires obedience-training. Attack training and dog-handler courses are also available commercially.If you're interested in training your dog to retrieve, contact local club branches of retrieving breeds.
The next time your dog takes you for a hike or christens the rug, you might want to consider obedience training. Whether you get it from group or private means, it can make your dog a better companion, keep him away from hazards and reinforce the idea you had when you got your dog: He's man's best friend.
I love you Rover. Now, heel.