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Obedience Clubs

This truly is a magnificent idea, as I'm a firm believer in training dogs before they get too big to handle. Having volunteered in a shelter, I've seen first-hand how many young dogs are surrendered when they get to the boisterous stage with no training. I do think we need to stress this to folks considering adopting a puppy.

When I bought my mini poodle, who turned out to be a fabulous obedience dog and finished her CD in a single weekend with high placings (1,500-dog show!), there was another family who wanted her, but got there after I did.

They bought a lovely standard poodle pup instead, then the parents disagreed on whether the dog should be trained, so it didn't happen. Before long the pup was able to pull the kids off their feet and drag them over the ground, so this fabulous dog was relegated to a lonely existence in the back yard, instead of being the great family member he might have been. It was heartbreaking to me to see such a gorgeous, cheerful dog ruined by ignorance.

My experience with private trainers and local obedience clubs is that the club training is top notch, and more affordable than private lessons or classes. They also offer a lot in terms of awareness of other canine sports that a dog and its family might enjoy, such as agility or flyball. The retreiver in my little poodle was BANANAS over flyball!!! Perhaps we ought to plug into the national organization and pay the fee to the buyer's local obedience club instead of the private route.

Here's is the URL I just found for the AKC's state-by-state listing of obedience clubs. Hope it is helpful to someone! If it saves one puppy from a shelter or back yard isolation, it's done it's job!

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