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Reward Yourself by Taking Your Dog to Obedience Training

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Training a dog or puppy can be life changing - for pet owners as well as their dogs.

"Obedience training enriches the bond between dogs and their owners," says Dr. Melissa Bain, one of California's six board certified veterinary behaviorists. "Training establishes better communication between owners and their dog, which enriches the entire relationship."

Common commands in basic training are "sit," "down," "come," and "stay." Your dog should also learn not to jump on you, to pay attention when you say his name, and how to walk on a leash politely.

Should you train your dog yourself, seek out dog training classes, or hire a private trainer? This depends on your personal circumstances and how confident you are in your training ability. Training at home can work. However, many owners need to be trained just as much as their dogs--they need to learn how to praise their dogs, hold correct body posture, earn respect, and more. Classes provide a support group and a structure that many owners find helpful. Good instructors can help tailor obedience training to your particular dog and give you feedback.

Whether you are training your dog yourself, or using a trainer, keep these tips in mind:

  • Make training fun - for you and your dog.
  • Use positive reinforcement, treats, and praise, not punishment.
  • Be consistent in your training; all family members should use the same commands in the same way.
  • Be patient.

When selecting a dog trainer:

  • Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
  • Do not send your dog away to be trained. Be involved in all steps of the process.
  • Choose an experienced trainer who keeps up to date on humane methods of training.
  • Watch classes being conducted by the trainer you are considering.
  • If you observe harsh training methods, choose another trainer.

"Every dog deserves a chance to be successfully trained," says Mark Nunez, DVM, president of the CVMA. "Obedience training is a fun and rewarding experience, which deepens the relationship between owners and dogs."

The California Veterinary Medical Association is the largest state veterinary medical association in the United States, with more than 6,300 members. For more information, visit

SOURCE California Veterinary Medical Association
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