Pretty much anyone who takes the time can train a dog to listen and obey commands but when the best way to train is to build a good relationship with your dog.  This is especially evident when you’re training a dog for show, you really need more then just obedience. You and your dog need to work in conjunction with each other.

In obedience trials, handlers give their canine partners a series of set commands, both verbally and by using hand signals. The dogs then score points based on how they complete the directions. If they score high enough, they earn a leg toward their obedience title.

However, showing in obedience is not just about how well the dog is trained, said Loretta “Rusty” Nelson, of Fort Dodge. It’s about building a relationship.

“You and your dog are together,” she said, “and it gives you pleasure to see the dog responding. You can really become a friend to your dog. It’s just a fun time.”(The Messenger)

This is just as true outside the show ring as well. A dog will respond more readily to a commanding but pleasant voice and praise then to harsh commands and yelling and screaming. Sure, you can bully a dog into listening to you and you can also wound up with a scared, submissive dog or a dog that may turn on you in an instant. And where’s the fun in that? Dogs are our companions and friends, even working dogs.

“You have to remember not to get frustrated,” Claudia Roberto, of Oakdale, MN said. “Just remember you’re a human and they’re only dogs. They’re like children — if you put the pressure on, they crumble. You have to make it all a game. It has to be fun, fun, fun. Besides, there’s no reason to be that serious. If you’re not having fun, they’re not having fun and then what’s the point?”

‘‘Basic obedience should be taught to every dog and people should start when they’re young,” said Tom Poole of Marshalltown. “Set the grounds rules then, if you want to, build from there.’’

So whether you plan to train your dog for show or just to have a wonderful companion and friend, take the time to train your dog to learn the basics, ‘doggie etiquette’.  Stick with positive training and start the way you mean to go! You’ll have a wonderful, well-trained and behaved friend for life! 😀

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