“My dog is pretty good at basic obedience” is something we hear daily at our dog training business in Northern Virginia.
As noted on our website, we have a our “Basic Obedience Package” which covers your main six commands: come, sit, down, place, off, and heel. People see this on a daily basis and they contact us via email or call us. Almost once per day I hear, “I’m not sure where to start with my dog, I see your basic obedience package; however, my dog is already pretty good at basic obedience.”
Generally, I immediately laugh to myself and think, “Here we go, again.” My immediate follow-up question anytime I hear someone say this is, “Can you take your dog outside, off-leash, with a couple distractions (dogs, people, cars), and your dog will do the basic obedience very reliably within the first couple commands?” Generally the answer I get back is, “Hell no, they would run away or completely ignore me.”
My immediate follow-up to this is, “Well, I hate to tell you, but your dog isn’t good at basic obedience.” I help them clarify with, “What you meant is your dog KNOWS basic obedience.”
At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, I always explain it this way, “If your dog does the commands when they want to, they know basic obedience. If your dog does the commands in any situation in a realistic environment (outside, off leash, with distractions), than they are good at it.
As people see in our 400+ Before and After Videos on our YouTube Channel, we get dogs to be good at obedience. Additionally, we do not require that they even know any obedience whatsoever, prior to coming to us.
So, when looking for a dog training course that is right for you, ask yourself, “Does my dog know basic obedience or is my dog good at basic obedience?”
We literally tell people everyday, “There is no point in teaching your dog an advanced command if they are not good at a basic command.” I have personally seen dogs that “know” 10-12 commands; however, if you put them outside, off-leash, with a distraction or two they will run away. To me, this is a pointless way of training your dog. As I always say, “No other command matters if your dog will not “come” in a realistic environment.”
So, when it comes to training your dog, get your dog good at a command and then progress to the next command. This is literally the reason we have a mandatory week between lessons (with the exception of our board and train program) in order to ensure your dog is good at the last lesson it learned before we progress to the next.