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Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, Inc
PO Box 1449, Goldenrod, FL 32733-1449
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Email: info@grrmf.org
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     The Benefits of Obedience Training     


When rescues are adopted, GRRMF recommends obedience training to make the process of integrating the Golden into the new home easier. But often people adopting Goldens do not have any experience with obedience training and what possibilities exist through training their new companion.

Obedience training provides a number of benefits. The most familiar benefit is a well behaved dog. A Golden can quickly learn basics of sit, stay, come, and down-stay.

Fletcher enjoys agility

Since Goldens are large dogs, it is essential to familiarize them with basic obedience. This knowledge can help to make them welcome wherever they go. Many people are apprehensive about large dogs no matter how friendly they are. Having control through basic commands can make your Golden accepted in your social circle.

Another less well known benefit of obedience training is the bond it reinforces between trainer and dog. It is a wonderful way to reinforce that you are "alpha dog" or the dog`s pack leader. Rescues have often never had a strong "alpha" so training can provide them with a most important element of a dog`s social needs. The dog may have been bounced from home to home or kept outside away from the family circle. Training with your rescue dog helps their self esteem and confidence.

Obedience training can also provide an outlet for a dog`s energy. Goldens can be VERY active dogs especially when they are young. They also have a gift of intelligence. According to the book "The Intelligence of Dogs" by Stanley Coren, Goldens are in the top 5% for Obedience and Working Intelligence out of 79 breeds. They are especially known for their desire to please. Many behavioral problems encountered in young Goldens are not really problems but a combination of a very intelligent dog with a desire to do a "job" and lots of energy. To put it bluntly, they can get bored! A good Rx for a young Golden is plenty of exercise and a mental challenge. Obedience training is tailor made for a Golden`s inherent characteristics.

The fourth major benefit of obedience training is the fun it can provide the owner and dog team. It is important to find a training program that emphasizes positive motivation training methods. Goldens like to have fun so harsh training methods are especially inappropriate. Training offers a way to have fun for the owner and relieve stress. Also, training classes are populated by other dog lovers - a great way to meet interesting people. The classes also provide a good opportunity to socialize your dog around people and other dogs.

GRRMF is able to advise new owners of good trainers in their geographic area. All levels of classes exist, from Basic Manners to Novice Training for competition obedience with the American Kennel Club. Often people complete a basic course and want to continue. The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers a Canine Good Citizen Test & certificate for all dogs meeting a defined set of basic obedience requirements. Purebred dogs registered with the AKC can go on to compete in dog shows for obedience titles. GRRMF strongly supports basic manners training for Goldens placed through the rescue program.