Frequently Asked Questions About Basic Obedience

The Cedarwoods Canine School eight week basic course is designed to produce a steady K-9 companion.  This program will teach your dog the following skills1:

He will be attentive to you, regardless of distractions. He will ‘Heel’ in the proper position with or without a verbal command. He will ‘Sit’ automatically when you stop, give a verbal command or handsignal.  He will also ‘Down’ on command and maintain a ‘Sit’ or ‘Down-Stay’ and he will understand the commands for ‘Recall’, ‘Stand’ & ‘Finish’.  Furthermore, having learned how to learn, your dog will be prepared for any further training you might desire.

F.A.Q.s

In today’s climate of cities and counties trying to legislate pet owners out of existence, it is imperative that you make your dog a ‘Canine Good Citizen’.
By itself, Basic Obedience is usually enough to insure your dog will be a Canine Good Citizen. But the more you train your dog, the more responsible he will become.
We firmly believe that superior training requires that both the handler and his dog attend classes together, and that the handler/dog team work from their home at least twice every day.
Everyone who has reached an age where they can be attentive for the length of the classes.
Anyone who will be involved in the everyday handling of your dog should participate in the training. This insures that the dog is not confused by differing styles and methods of training.
We’ve had children as young as 3 years old who were able to walk and give the proper commands to the family dog. Generally though, for a child to train a dog by him/herself they should be at least 10 years old.
The methods have evolved over a period of nearly forty years and are continually being revised as newer and more innovative methods are developed.
First and foremost, a happier life with your pet. Beyond that, there are numerous levels of obedience and many other activities that you might enjoy, ie: Tracking; Agility; Frisbee; Flyball; Herding; Search & Rescue; Carting; Sledding; Weight-Pull; and Hunting.
Basic Obedience is your first step toward working for an ‘Obedience Title’. Before a dog is ready to begin competing, he must be able to perform all of his commands, both on and off lead. Off lead does require additional training.
It’s true that dogs seem to want to please us. In reality, they are manipulating us as they have done for thousands of years. Fortunately, we can use their nature to help us train them to be a responsible part of the family.
As early as 3 weeks old, the puppy is beginning his behavioral training by his mother. By five weeks, he is capable of learning the basic obedience commands. However, we do not accept dogs until they are protected by their puppy shot series.
There is no practical limit as to how old a dog may be to start training, though it is always easier to train a dog right the first time, than to have to break bad habits later. The longer a dog has had things his way, the harder it will be for him to accept new rules.
No. Anyone in reasonably good health should have no problem training their dog. Likewise, no undue physical demands are put on your dog.
Vaccinations are for the safety of your dog. In addition to the regular puppy series and rabies vaccination, any dog who will be in close proximity to strange dogs should also have the Bordetella (Kennel Cough) vaccination.
Not necessarily. It will depend on how many people are involved in his early training. Most dogs will respond to those whom the dog respects and understands their commands.
The skills that will make your pet a pleasure to work with on lead, ie: Heel - to walk at your left side without forging ahead or lagging behind. Automatic Sit - To promptly assume a sitting position whenever you come to a complete stop. Down on Command - To assume a laying position on a verbal or hand signal. Sit or Down Stay - To remain on a Sit or Down even if you drop their lead and go briefly out of sight. Recall - To come and sit in front of you on a verbal or hand signal Finish - To return from the Front position to the Sit position at your left side. Stand For Examination - To stand with its feet in one place while a stranger touches him.
By the end of the first class you will see a noticeable difference in most dogs.
Two or three periods of two to three minutes each is all that is required.
No. While wearing the training equipment you can expect your dog to be calm and obedient, but training should never do anything to change or spoil your dog’s personality.
Harsh or unfair corrections are counter productive to a dog’s training, so the dog is taught each command thoroughly before any corrections are applied.
A level of communication will evolve between you and your dog that you have never dreamed possible. Because of the quality time you will be spending with your dog,both you and your dog will learn to understand and enjoy each other to a much greater extent.
Basic obedience is the key to solving most behavioral problems. Once your dog is trained to understand the basic commands, it is much easier to tackle problem behaviors.
No. To assure a solid foundation for all obedience, we do not use treats for training. Later, in advanced obedience, treats are sometimes useful to polish your dog's performance.
Firm but appropriate correction with a chain type ‘Training Collar’.
Through ‘hands-on’ affection. We call these ‘Paychecks’.
Electronic collars are never used at this level of training. Prong collars are sometimes required in certain situations.
Basic obedience is an eight week course. Consisting of weekly classes of approximately one hour each, plus a small amount of daily practice at home.
Three pieces of equipment are necessary for training: First, is the ‘Choke-Chain’ type of collar; Second, is the 6-foot Nylon lead; Third, is a 20-foot longe line. The weight and style of each of these is very important. They are available at class at very reasonable prices.
No text book is required for Basic Obedience. You will be given a ‘Training Manual’ and each week you will receive ‘Homework Sheets’.
Every effort will be made to provide you with a ‘Make-Up Class’. If necessary, an alternate session of classes will be made available.
The classes are kept to 18 or fewer dogs. This way individual attention is provided for each and every student.
There is always someone available, either by phone or in person, who will be able you assist you should there be anything needing extra attention.
The dogs are in the classroom together but kept seperated and we start by working one dog at time when working on a new lesson. As the dogs have began to learn each lesson we take time as appropriate we have all the dogs work around each other.
It very important that everyone, including the dogs, understand each exercise completely before trying to execute any command. Therefore distractions must be kept to a minimum during class.
Classes #2 through #6 are approximately 1 hour. Class #1 and classes #7 and #8 generally run between 1.5-2 hours.
Classes are held at 5602 Guide Meridian Rd. Bellingham, WA 98226. They are held indoors with the exception of a short time the first class.
Pre-enrollment is not absolutely necessary but it is recommended.
Tuition for the eight week Basic Class is $255.00. This includes the Training Manual and weekly worksheets. Training equipment is available at very reasonable prices: 6’ lead = $15.75; 20’ longe line = $14.50; training collar = $5.95 - $8.95 depending upon size.
Tuition for a second dog from the same family, trained at the same time as the first dog, is $235.00.