Obedience makes for happy dog and owner

March 31, 2004|SALLIE BRIGHT

To have a harmonious relationship with your dog, you must teach him the rules of your house in a way he understands. You can't expect your dog, to arrive at his new home knowing exactly what to do. Nor can you expect him to learn if you shout and hit him when he does something wrong without rewarding him for good behavior.

When puppies and dogs are returned to an animal shelter, the reason is nearly always related to obedience.

"He kept jumping on the children." "She dug holes all over the yard." "He kept peeing on the carpet."

All of these behaviors are typical and must be altered if there is to be harmony between the dog and his new family. That's why the DBCHS offers a free obedience class.

Taught by dog trainer Cheri Carbone, class sessions are scheduled for 1 p.m. the first Saturday of each month at the Boyle County


Fairgrounds on the bypass beside the animal shelter. Any adopted puppy or dog is welcome to attend the class (as long as his human comes with the canine on leash).

Obedience tips

Here are a few obedience tips from the website

* When training your dog, keep things simple. Use one- or two-word commands and use the same words consistently. A common owner mistake is interchanging the words "sit down," "sit here," and "here boy, sit." Theses are all common and confusing variations on the correct command "sit."

* While dogs may not immediately understand what we are saying, they are masters of understanding how we say things. Instead of using a questioning tone or a gruff, loud tone, give a calm, controlled, confident, "Rover, sit." Place him in position and praise him. He'll learn to respond to a normal tone with a wagging tail.

* Dogs learn to associate the words you say with the actions they are doing at the moment you say it. So if you chant "Off, off, off" at a dog who is jumping on you, he is learning that "Off" means jump up. Either wait and say the command as your dog is doing the behavior you desire or use a lead and collar or treat to guide the dog into what you want him to do.

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