Basic Obedience Training
All dogs whether puppies or older adults, large or small breeds, will receive some benefit in basic obedience training. They will become a socially responsible pet and will better respond to your commands and be more pleasurable to own than an unruly untrained dog.
Puppies as young as three or four months can commence training at any one of Dogs SA's affiliated dog training clubs. Puppies must be aged at least two weeks after their final vaccinations before taking them to a Club as they are not fully protected against the various contagious diseases that affect dogs until then.
Affiliated obedience club Instructors will instruct you to train your dog. Dogs are not handled by the Instructors so it is up to the new dog owner to listen, to understand and to practise at home the lessons taught in class. Puppies and dogs are taught to heel, sit, stay, drop, stand and come when called. Lessons are taught using reward based training which means dogs are rewarded by food or praise when they correctly respond to commands.
Generally puppies will stay in puppy classes until six months of age and then progress through the various levels to grade 5 or 6. Some breeds may learn faster than others and some handlers will have previous experience in training dogs which is a great advantage when training subsequent dogs.
Dogs SA Obedience Website
The Dogs SA Obedience website is http://www.dogobediencesa.com/ This site includes information for triallers and marked catalogues of recent obedience trials held for Club Secretaries or Club Registrars to view.
You may become hooked on obedience training after attending an affiliated Club and your dog has successfully graduated from Grade 5 or 6 and achieved it's basic obedience certificate.
Your interest may then extend to pursuing this hobby to higher levels which involves competing in Obedience Trials. Obedience trials are held most weekends and test your dog's ability to obey and understand the commands which you have taught the dog at the training Club.
Titles and certificates are awarded after the dog successfully qualifies three times at each level and these titles are then added to the dog's name.
The first level is the Community Companion Dog class which includes heel on lead, stand, recall and stays. The Title CCD is awarded to the successful dog.
The second level is the Companion Dog class which includes heel off lead, stand for exam, recall, retrieve and stays. The Title CD is awarded.
The third level is the Companion Dog Excellent class which includes heel free, drop on recall, retrieve a dumbbell on the flat and over a jump, broad jump or signals and out of sight stays. The title CDX is awarded.
The fourth level is the Utility Class. Only the top obedience dogs reach this level which includes seek back lost article, directed jumping, scent discrimination, silent heel work and signals, food refusal or speak or directed retrieve and stays. The title of UD is awarded. If a dog achieves 5 further qualifications of 185 points or more an Obedience Champion title is awarded.
The newly introduced Utility Dog Excellent class includes seek back with decoy, positions in motion, scent discrimination with the Judges scent, directed sendaway and recall, distance control, multiple retrieves and temperament test.
The title UDX is awarded to the successful dog. If the dog achieves an additional 5 passes of 185 points or more following the UDX title, the dog is awarded Obedience Grand Champion.
From 2012 Rally Obedience is introduced, also known as Rally O. The rally obedience is conducted in a ring with the handler following a numbered sequence of signs depicting the exercise required to be performed at each station. The first class Novice is performed on lead and the handler may give encouragement and praise to the dog while working. The higher levels are performed off lead with more advanced exercises required. There are four Rally titles which may be gained by the dog and handler.
The Rules for Obedience and Rally trials may be found at http://www.ankc.org.au
As you can see, taking you dog to obedience classes can develop into an interesting life long hobby which can give both dog and handler a great deal of pleasure and form a close bond between them.
Should you decide to take your dog to an Obedience Club there are 23 affiliated Obedience Clubs situated in the Adelaide metropolitan area and most major country areas that offer puppy training through to competition standard training.
If you currently don't own a dog but have had previous experience in dog training and have some spare time available, you may also become involved with these Clubs by Instructing or helping at Committee level.
For a full list of Obedience Clubs in your area refer to 'Affiliated Clubs'