Every breed of dog was developed for a specific purpose, yet today, few dogs do the job for which they were bred as they no longer need to earn their living.
Most are pet dogs and the behaviour needed to become a good companion and citizen has to be taught. Dogs, unlike computer, do not come already programmed!
Some of the behaviour associated with a particular canine job e.g. digging which is not being destructive – just imaginative and in keeping with their breeding – needs to be modified and managed.
They must be taught not to jump on people, to chew destructively, to re-landscape the garden by digging, to retrieve that which is not yet lost and to bark only as a warning to the family that all is not well.
Obedience training provides your dog with the leadership they crave. Dogs are social or pack animals that need to belong to a strong pack or family structure in order to be happy.
A well balanced, modern day family pack, has mum or dad at the top, then the children. Dogs must be patiently taught that their place is at the bottom of the family pack.
Obedience training aims to create this structure in a gentle way, giving the leadership which will create in the dog, a healthy respect for all family members.
By correctly socialising dogs with adults, children and other dogs, in a non-confrontational way, they will grow into socially acceptable members of our society.
Training can start at any age but the earlier the better. Your 8 week old puppy needs training from the day they come home. Puppy pre-schools, run by trained instructors at most veterinary practices, are a great way to start, followed later by puppy class at a dog training club.
Older first timers will learn, but often at a slower rate, so the importance of early training cannot be overemphasised.