What is obedience training?
Traditionally obedience training is about teaching a dog to obey a command no matter what the circumstance or what is happening in the environment around them.
Basic commands such as sit, stay, down, heel etc are usually thought in a group environment.
Competition obedience is a sport and is wonderful to watch or compete in, if it is something you are interested in competing in it is important that you find a trainer who has a lot of experience and knoweledge in the area.
Does the average family dog need obedience classes?
Many of us grew up with the belief that obedience classes will produce a good dog and for that reason more often than not people who contact us looking for obedience classes are struggling with behaviour issues and aren't in fact interested in traditional obedience training at all. These days there are many more options available which will better suit your dog's needs.
We have noticed in the past while running group classes that many dogs can find group situations stressful and owners often don't get the individual attention and information that is needed for their particular concerns.
For these reasons we no longer run group obedience classes, but instead, we offer a variety of different private sessions and courses which will ensure that both dog and owner get the attention, information and training that is needed for their lifestyle.
The most common reasons people contact us looking for obedience classes are often behavioural issues...
" I want to join a class to stop him getting over excited when meeting people"
" I want to join a class to socalise him so that he wont be scared of dogs any more "
" My dog keeps eating everything in the house and I think obedience training will help."
"Arrgh! She peed on the sofa..again !
HELP !! we need obedience training"
Will obedience classes help with behaviour problems?
Well, if you have a dog who is barking and lunging at other dogs while out for a walk or a dog that jumps and bounces on people as they arrive into your home commanding him/her to sit isn't getting to the root of the problem.
Nore is a group obedience class going to 'socialise' your dog and stop the barking and lunging, especially if these are fear based behaviours. Group situations could make in fact these problems worse.
Modern dog training is moving away from training shut-down robotic dogs who will obey on command and is focusing more on training dogs to have confidence and manners as well as building owner/dog bonds based on trust and mutual respect.
Obviously, manners around the home and teaching basic behaviours are very important for safety reasons for example, when your dog is asked to stay it's very important that they know what that means and won't ignore you and run into traffic, and visitors coming to your home will be happier meeting a dog who has four feet on the ground that they would be meeting a bouncy blur of a dog who is knocking them over, so training manners is very important for all dogs.
So, in our opinion obedience classes aren't the answer to behaviour issues, but one to one sessions which are less stressful can be the best way to build confidence and teach manners to the dog while ensuring that the owner gets the information and attention that is needed to ensure that what is learned will be easily put into practice once they go home.
Are there other options?
We have a lot of other options that will meet your training needs, not only will you get one to one attention at a private session but we also have our own dogs who are always happy to make an appearance if we need them to do so.
If you are having no major issues with your dog's behaviour, private training sessions can be arranged to meet your needs while teaching traditional behaviours such as sit, stay, down etc, as well as loose leash walking.
These sessions focus on replacing behaviours that you don't want with behaviours you do want. Behaviour issues come in many forms and can be very stressful for both owner and dog. Whether your dog is pulling on the lead, reacting to other dogs or people while out walking, barking at visitors you bring into your home or playing too roughly a behaviour session might be your best option.
Puppies can benefit from learning basic obedience behaviours at an early age, these as well as many life skills are covered in our puppy preschool course.
This is a great way to spend more time and have more fun with your dog, tricks include basic obedience, agility, leg weaves, dancing, tidy up toys, skateboarding and many many more. You can work towards earning certificates or simply focus on the tricks you are interested in.