Which obedience class for my dog?


My dog already knows “sit” and “stay.” Is a beginner obedience class the right level for her?


Yes. A great trainer will offer you more information than just teaching you how to teach your dog obedience commands. A great instructor will offer guidance on the most important aspect of training which is how to create a relationship with your dog built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect.

Another reason to attend a beginning obedience class is that although sit and stay are good commands to get your dog started, the sit-stay is only the beginning of all the basic obedience commands. You may notice on your first night of class that due to all the distractions, your dog’s responsiveness to sit and stay is different than sit and stay
in your home. A well trained and well mannered dog will listen to you no matter the distractions, and needs to be trained in a variety of settings to create a more reliable level of responsiveness. Acclimating your dog to the classroom and other settings will also help improve your handler-dog connection.

Most beginner classes will also teach the down, down-stay, the recall or come command along with proper leash skills such as a loose leash walk. You may also learn a little about the heel and automatic sit command, stand and wait and handler-dog eye contact.

I suggest you audit a class or two in your area to observe the instructor’s training style, approximate class size and what dogs and handlers learn. Auditing the class will also give you an idea if the instructor is available for a few minutes after class to answer handler questions and if the environment and trainer is a good fit for you and your dog.