Basic Obedience for Dogs

What is Basic Obedience? 

Basic Obedience is the process of teaching your dog to respond to your words. The goal is for your dog to understand and reliably respond to you in all situations. By creating this common language you can teach your dog what you want them to do and easily redirect them from behaviors you do not want. 

Why is Basic Obedience Important? 

Basic Obedience provides you with a shared language. It allows you to teach your dog how to behave in society and become a successful canine citizen. It builds a foundation of reliable behaviors that can be used to successfully navigate daily life. In addition, it builds trust and respect between you and your dog. 

Common Misunderstandings 

  1. “Smart dogs will instinctively know basic obedience” 

      All dogs need to be taught basic obedience cues so they can understand what their parents are saying. Just like children, dogs need to be taught which words correspond to which behaviors. 

  1. “My dog can sit and lay down. We already know the basics”

         Many dogs will quickly learn ‘sit’ and ‘down’, however they usually do not perform the behaviors readily and reliably. Basic Obedience classes will teach your dog to respond to your cues without having to repeat them. Classes will also teach you many other cues, such as wait, take and drop, that can help you better navigate life together. 

  1. “My dog is too old to learn basic obedience.” 

          Just like people, dogs can learn at any age. Although it is ideal to teach them when they are puppies, even senior dogs can learn new cues and improve on old ones. 

Choosing a Basic Obedience Class 

Most dog trainers offer Basic Obedience Classes. Here are some tips for choosing the best trainer for your dog: 

  • Look for Trainers with certifications, such as CCPDT, IIABC or IPDTA
  • Choose Trainers that use Positive Reinforcement and Aversion Free Training
  • Choose a Trainer that you feel comfortable talking to and learning from
  • Choose a program that fits your lifestyle and schedule for classes and homework 

Training the Basics 

Most Basic Obedience Training classes will include the following skills: 

  • Polite Walking 
  • Sit 
  • Down 
  • Stand 
  • Watch Me 
  • Stay 
  • Come 
  • Wait 
  • Take 
  • Drop 
  • Leave 
  • Nose Target 

Going Beyond the Basics 

Every dog should complete basic training to improve the quality of their and their families life. For dogs and families interested in learning more you can attend Intermediate and Advanced Obedience training.