Starting Obedience Training
We hope you and your dog will enjoy your time with Oundle and District Dog Training Society. We welcome dogs of all ages and breeds.
We have set out a few tips to help you get the most out of the training sessions.
- It is important that you feel comfortable when you are training your dog. As we train in an equestrian arena it is best to wear boots or walking shoes, never plimsolls, heels, sandals or flip flops. Wear layers of warm clothing and trousers rather than skirts.
- Always carry a bag in your pocket to clear up after your dog. Dog waste and bags must be removed from the premises so make sure you have several bags to wrap it in. Do not allow dogs to urinate on any jumps, equipment, doors or gates.
- Use either a normal collar (not too loose) or a half check collar and a lead of a suitable length for you and your dog. Choose a leather lead or one made of a material which won’t hurt your hand. A flexi-lead is ideal for taking your dog for his walks but is not suitable for training classes. For very strong dogs who pull when walking we recommend a Gencon figure of eight collar/lead. One size fits all with them and if you Google the Gencon you will find a little Utube clip to explain how to use it. Harnesses tend to teach a dog to pull so we do not recommend except for medical reasons.
- The dog should have a legal dog tag on his collar. This must include your name and address and you will probably want your telephone number on it as well. This is a legal requirement even if the dog is microchipped.
- Out with your dog. Don’t expect a dog to walk to heel all the time. Invest in a flexi-lead which will give him freedom but you will still be in control.
- Spend a few minutes each day brushing the coat, checking his mouth, ears and feet, brushing his teeth and generally handling the dog.
Below are some of the exercises you will be doing in the first two classes, they are the basis for all future training and things you should practise at home:-
- Get your dog’s attention by using his name and praise him for watching you.
- Make your dog sit on your left hand side (heel position) – get his attention by using his name and the ‘sit’ command. At the same time raise your right hand and put your left hand on his rear end to guide it into a sit. Give lots of praise when the dog is sitting in the correct position.
- Walking your dog to heel. Start with the dog on your left hand side. Use his name then ‘heel’ and start walking, moving your left leg first. Keep using his name and the ‘heel’ command. Try to keep the lead loose and check him if he strays from the heel position.
- About turn. Use your dog’s name to get his attention then ’heel’ as you about turn to the right on the spot and bring the dog around with you.
- Halt by using the dog’s name then ‘sit’ as above. If you are intending to show your dog at some point then occasionally halt with the dog in the stand.
- Play recall by walking forward with your dog then you go backwards calling the dog’s name and ‘come’. This exercise can be progressed by getting the dog to sit in front of you when he comes back. Lots of praise required in this exercise. The ‘wait’ command can be introduced so your dog will wait until you call him to you.
- Sit stay. Start off with the dog sitting beside you. ‘Sit’ and ‘stay’ are the commands but don’t use the dog’s name otherwise he will think he is doing a recall. Begin by stepping to the side, stand sideways on to the dog (again to differentiate between a stay and a recall) step back to the dog and praise him while he is still sitting before allowing him to move. This can be progressed by leaving him for longer and going further away but do it in stages so the dog never fails and is always praised.
- Down stay. Get the dog to go ‘down’ on command by starting with the dog sitting on your LHS then hold a tit bit in front of his nose, take it down to the ground giving the ‘down’ command. Progress as above using the ‘down’ and ‘stay’ commands
- Socialisation. Tell the dog to ’heel’ and if he sniffs another dog you can tell him to ‘leave’. Praise and encouragement are needed.
- Play. Play with the dog with a toy. Never play tug-of-war but get the dog to come back to you and give up the toy voluntarily. This can be used as a ‘reward’ after a training session.
Practise the exercises for 5 minutes a day and always finish by playing with the dog. He will learn much faster if he enjoys himself.
If you have any general worries about your dog please ask the trainers or committee. They are all experienced dog owners and will be more than willing to help you.
Please don’t bring your dog to training if he starts coughing. Kennel cough is very infectious and while it is a mild irritation for a young, fit dog it is life threatening for oldies or very young puppies. Seek veterinary advice. Please don’t bring bitches in season.
***Remember we are a non profit making Society and all our committee and trainers work on a voluntary basis because they love dogs and want to help others to get the same enjoyment out of dog ownership***