“Rex, come here! Rex, Rex, Rex… Rex, come back here!” 

“No, Freckles… no, no, no… Freckles, no!!” 

“Down, get down… no, get dowwwwwnnnn!” 

Most dog owners can relate to the frustration of an unruly puppy or adult dog who resists our commands. Frustrating for us, our dogs, and others within earshot, the challenges of a dog who has not been trained can be difficult to deal with and, in some cases, actually present risks to our dog’s safety. 

The good news is that all dogs, young and old, can be properly redirected. Ethical, professional obedience training and socialization is a must for all dogs, no matter what their size, breed, or age. Basic dog obedience helps your pet understand the behaviors you want from them, whether following verbal commands that ensure safety or behaving in large groups of people or around strangers. 

Is Your Dog Ready for Training? 

In most cases, puppies should begin receiving training and socialization between the ages of 8-12 weeks. Young dogs are eager to learn, inquisitive, and have not had the opportunity to form any potentially negative behavior patterns. Starting your puppy in group training sessions also helps to foster a socialized dog who will be less fearful, more confident, and unlikely to display aggression. 

Realistically, however, some of us adopt adults who were never properly trained as puppies. In this case, it is important to – first and foremost – understand that adult dogs can be redirected and trained. It’s also important to address, prior to training, any issues that may diminish the efficacy of training or present other challenges, such as intense fear or anxiety. 

At Union Lake Pet Services, Dr. Erica Hawker focuses on behavioral challenges, such as anxiety and aggression, and can provide consultation on these issues in order to get your pup ready for class. For dogs dealing with extensive barriers to training, ULVH can refer your pooch to pet behavioral therapist, Dr. Theresa DePorter, at specialty clinic Oakland Veterinary Referral Services. Dr. DePorter’s services are in demand and sometimes the wait time can be up to a few months, but this can be expedited through a referral from Dr. Hawker. 

The Benefits of Basic Dog Obedience 

Positive reinforcement training provides the primary foundation for a lifetime of happiness, health, and interaction. The benefits of training are endless, but include: 

  • The healthy development of social interaction with dogs, other animals, and humans 
  • The psychological health and development of your dog by providing safety encouragement, confidence, and reassurance 
  • Reducing the likelihood of typical negative patterns, such as chewing or accidents 
  • The strengthened sense of place within the family or “pack” 
  • One of the most effective safety measures in reducing aggression, accidents, and escapes 

Our Behavior Training team uses a wide array of techniques that have become the standard by professional dog behaviorists. These classes cover a range of training modalities, including obedience, agility, travel, and kennel programs. 

If you have just adopted a puppy or are experiencing some behavioral challenges with your adult canine companion, we encourage you to consider the benefits basic obedience training can provide. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Basic obedience can help you solve all of those problem behaviors that create chaos and ultimately make for unhappy pet guardian and confused dog. 

Call us today for more information about upcoming classes. We also have a schedule and details on our website. We look forward to working with you and your best friend!