There are numerous activities for you and your dog to be involved in with many of these involving one main attribute, obedience. The amount of career opportunities that are available to dogs is endless – searching, rescuing, detecting, protecting, guiding, assisting, tracking, herding, agility, and endurance competitions.
All these activities require an obedient dog with basic to advanced obedience skills, as well as commands which it will use to carry out its work.
Obedience for dogs should start as soon as you get your new puppy in the form of Puppy Kindy at your local veterinary clinics or dog clubs. Puppy Kindy is usually for pups between 8 and 12 weeks old, where they can advance to a puppy class after 12 weeks of age.
Continuous training that is being reinforced with positive rewards such as pats, toys, food, or treats will encourage the dog to stay well behaved and in-turn will create a much happier dog that is willing to listen to you and obey your commands.
Endurance is an activity for both fit owners and dogs that tests both fitness and obedience. If you are able to run 20km or ride a bike 20km with your dog attached to a lead then you are able to compete in Endurance competitions.
The Endurance Test (ET) is split up in to 3 sections over a distance of 20kms.
These being 8kms, 6kms, and 6kms with a 15 and 20 minute break between the sections for fitness and conditioning monitoring by a team of Vets.
One of the major areas being assessed in the Endurance Test is the obedience of your dog which will come in the form of a few simple obedience exercise throughout the 20km test to ensure that they are capable of following your commands.
The whole test runs for around 2hours and 35 minutes including the breaks and vet check-ups, and upon completion you will be presented with a qualifying certificate signed by the judge.
Taking your puppy to ‘puppy school’ can make a real positive difference to their behaviour. A lot of vet clinics and larger retail chains offer puppy schools – have a read up on what’s available in your local area.