Do you want a well trained dog?
This is my definition of a well-trained family dog: a dog, like the three dogs pictured here, who is apleasure to be around. Sometimes really well-trained dogs appear to be doing NOTHING -- they're not barking, they're not pulling on the leash, they're not stealing your dinner or knocking over your elderly aunt. When they are doing something, they're playing nicely with your children, they're going for hikes in the woods, they're happily trotting by your side as you walk around your neighborhood. Highly trained dogs can participate in more complex activities, such as service jobs, or dog sports such as agility, which is the sport I play with my own dogs. (For more information about agility, see my agility page.) But any well-mannered dog can become an important and joyful part of your family.
When you are out for an enjoyable walk with your dog, do you feel like you're being towed?
Wouldn't you prefer to live with a dog that comes when he's called, walks nicely on a loose leash, and calmly greets your guests?
No matter the size, age, or breed of your dog, these all are reasonable, obtainable goals. A well-mannered dog is more fun to play with, and is gentler with your kids. A well-mannered dog is a delight to take for walks and to show off to your friends. A well-mannered dog is welcome anywhere.
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