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Teaching Your Dog Obedience and Rally-O
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If you take the time to find an instructor with whom you feel comfortable, you and your dog will enjoy obedience, rally or both. “As long as the training is not abusive, the benefits of training are immense,” says Lori Waters, whose pack includes AKC Obedience Trial Champion German Shepherd Lou, and Border Collie Mitch, who was the first dog in AKC history to earn Conformation Champion, Obedience Trial Champion and Champion Tracker titles. “Spending time together, and learning to communicate with each other strengthens the dog–handler bond like nothing else can. After spending thousands of hours training, traveling thousands of miles showing—not to mention spending thousands of dollars—with my dogs, the way you both grow together is unbelievable. Your dog gets the attention and goes places that other dogs can only dream about. They get to live a very full life and the handler gets to share it.”

Even if you’re not interested in competition, obedience training has value. “Obedience doesn’t benefit the dog,” says Arnold. “The obedient dog benefits, because then the dog can have a good life, a chance to run free and be a dog, whether it’s in a dog park or out in the woods somewhere. It’s the most amazing thing to me, people who let dogs free that they can’t control. Love is taking the time to train the dog to keep it safe.”

 

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This article first appeared in The Bark,
Issue 40: Jan/Feb 2007

Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

SpotOnK9Sports.com

Photograph by Briggs Photography/Alissa Behn

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