When a majority of people think about the term obedience, the image that frequently comes to mind is a well behaved canine following specific commands given by their owner. While this is, of course, true, obedience provides your canine best friend with more than simple commands to follow. Dogs are pack animals by nature and having an established pack order within your dog’s life is important for many reasons. Bad habits including food aggression and destructiveness may stem from your canine pal being confused about the pack structure within the home. Behavioral problems are the #1 cause of euthanasia in dogs. Many of these problems can be corrected or avoided all together with proper obedience training. Obedience training can also be a life saving technique for your dog as well. Countless pets are injured or killed each year after escaping their home. Simple commands such as come and stay can be extremely valuable in the event that a dog slips through an open door.
Some owners elect to take obedience training to the next level in which owner and dog teams compete for obedience titles. The AKC (American Kennel Club) offers obedience trials for owners to demonstrate the result of their hard work and training with their canine companion. Mixed breed dogs are often welcome at many of the obedience trials as well. Rules and regulations for the obedience trials are listed on the AKC website and provide the required commands and tasks that the teams will be given to perform in the trials. Owners often find that competing with their four-legged best friend strengthens the bond between owner and dog, while encouraging good behavior and mental stimulation.
Ask us at Animal Central for more information on the benefits of obedience training or visit: http://www.akc.org/events/obedience/getting_started.cfm
Dr. George Stroberg, DVM