Last week, Piper — the dog I almost took back during our two-week trial from the rescue organization — graduated from beginners’ obedience school. Not only did we make it all the way through, but Piper did GREAT! This might just be proud doggie mom speaking here, but she may have even been head of the class. She was certainly not the worst, as I feared when I first signed us up!
Exhausted after graduation. No one had to teach this dog to relax.
If you’ve been reading for at least the past few months, you already know some of the troubles we had with Piper. I listed a smattering of Piper-challenges in this post about dog training tool that helped us, but in short, she was an absolute maniac who destroyed household items, terrorized Daisy the WonderDog, and jumped on everyone (sometime biting, too), just for fun.
Thankfully, I saw beyond her wild facade and knew what she needed was direction. Obedience training gave her that. Before we started, I wasn’t sure it would be worthwhile — but this money was well-spent. Knowing what I know now, and experiencing the difference it has made in our home, I’d have paid even more.
Ken set up the living room photography studio and I got Piper to pose.
What do you think? Is she the next top dog model?
With Piper, the decision to try obedience training came from desperation. But your dog doesn’t have to be out of control in order to benefit from obedience classes.
Benefits of dog obedience training:
- Bond with your dog; good for both of you!
- Socialize your dog with other dogs.
- Socialize your dog with other humans.
- Get feedback on specific problems.
- Motivation to practice obedience “homework”
(because you don’t want to look silly in class!)
- A more pleasant pet to live with.
- A dog that can go places with you and be welcome at many businesses and even restaurants with outdoor seating.
If you’re in my area, I’d happily recommend the trainer we used. She offers in-home training if your dog needs more than a group class can offer. If you live elsewhere, I’d recommend doing thorough online searches for reviews of classes and trainers, then calling and talking to the ones that sound most promising. I talked to two others before I chose the one we went with. The first trainer gave me the creeps, despite his glowing reviews. The second was not available in the time frame we needed.
I plan to continue working with Piper at home, but at some point we may do the next level of classes. Ideally, I’d like Piper to be certified as a Canine Good Citizen. I haven’t decided whether or not I’ll do the same with Daisy, but I will be working with her at home because she’s a wonderful dog but right now she laughs at the thought of actually obeying unless it suits her mood.
Dogs can be delightful companions. If yours isn’t, don’t give up; get training!