An obedience trained and well socialized dog is usually not only easier to handle and more pleasant to live with than an untrained dog. Obedience training is also a great help for your dog to develop positive routines, get to know you better, understand his position within the family and act accordingly.
Obedience training helps your dog to become more secure and confident and prevents him from constant challenging you or question his position time and again.
Therefore it’s true to state that obedience training is helpful for EVERYONE – you as the owner, your family, your dog and even strangers and other dogs or animals you may encounter during the life of your dog. I myself consider it mandatory for EVERY dog owner. And in my opinion it does not depend on the size of a dog.
Some owners of small breeds consider it unnecessary to train their dogs at all, because accordingly “theses dogs can’t cause harm”.
Not entirely true.
Even small bites hurt and often it’s the small dogs with paws the size of a rabbit, but egos the size of a lion, running around unleashed, provoking and bothering the bigger dogs or people. Why should the small ones have any more right to be rude, than the bigger canine citizens?
I am not trying to label any dogs or owners dogs the cause of all evil here. I’m just saying that EVERY dog needs education, no matter the breed or size. Period.
Once your dog knows some behaviors that have created a positive response on your side, she will increasingly start to offer these behaviors on her own.
There are tons of great books on the market on obedience training.
I want to introduce two of them I have used to work with my Bull Terrier Puppy:
- When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs
- This book is particularly interesting for owners of an English Bull Terrier, because the “star” of the book is one. The author explains a lot about the character of the breed and the training exercises are well explained and easily reproducible. The basic training principle is “Clicker training” (positive reinforcement). If you are more an advocate of traditional dog training, this book may offer an interestingly new perspective.
- My Smart Puppy: Fun, Effective, and Easy Puppy Training (Book & 60min DVD)
- This book does not refer to any specific breed. It focusses on a more conventional form of puppy training (but also using positive reinforcement). From bite inhibition to potty training – this book is a great help! If you rather watch than read, there’s also a very helpful DVD included, showing many of the exercises from the book.
- There are also some great training videos available on Youtube from some great instructors, such as
I have worked a lot with those videos. They were always of great help.
In addition to reading books or watching videos, you can choose to visit obedience classes. To find one for you, please ask in your local pet store, your local breeder or your vet.
Obedience classes, visits to the dog park and visitors at your house also offer great opportunities to socialize your dog. As a puppy everything is new for dogs, some things are very exciting, others are interesting, some are intimidating or even frightening. Help your dog to gain as much experience as possible with other people, dogs and animals at a young age. This will provide the perfect basis for your dog to become a very pleasant, confident and social individual without irrational fears.
Also it gives you the chance to discover anything out of the ordinary early and to try and react by training or decide to just not put your dog in certain situations in the future.
Always be careful when introducing your dog to a new contact (person or dog), because you will never know, if your dog will be friendly or if there will be something intimidating or confusing about the encounter causing your dog to respond in unexpected ways. humans can never tell ALL the signs. Never let your guard down, even with a well trained dog.