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Tuesday Training Byte: Do I really need to train my dog?

The answer to that question is yes. Most people just want a dog for a family companion/pet and may not be interested in earning titles with their dog. That is fine, but owning a dog like the approx. 90,000 households in America, comes with responsibility and liability. All dogs can bite. Many dogs are well behaved in their home setting, but may be out of control if taken on a hike, to a dog park, or the veterinarian's office. Do you ever have visitors to your home? How does your dog act then? In most states, if a dog injures someone or the property of another, the owner is responsible. The AKC STAR Puppy course is a good beginning foundation for a well behaved and socialized pup. The Canine Good Citizen title has three different levels of titles: Canine Good Citizen (CGC), Advanced (CGCA), and Urban (CGCU). The key word is "citizen". All of these require that the dog is obedient in public settings around strangers and strange dogs. This is harder than many dog owners think. The owner must be in control of the dog at all times with voice commands while the dog is on a loose leash, and ignoring the distractions all around it. Having a well behaved dog makes it a pleasure to take with you, enjoy outings, and avoid the risks of your dog causing injury to others. Pictured are my two rescued dogs after earning their CGC titles: Lassie- Smooth Collie on left, and Slider- American Water Spaniel on right.


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