Dog Obedience Classes San Luis Obispo CA

A dog becomes socialized by interacting with other canines and learning their verbal cues and body language. Obedience classes are good way to have your dog meet others in a controlled environment, while receiving useful training as well. Read below for more information or to find other dog related services.

How to Socialize an Adult Dog

How to Socialize an Adult Dog

Dogs in the wild grow up in packs and they are socialized almost from birth. A dog becomes socialized by interacting with other canines and learning their verbal cues and body language. The boundaries in the pack are very clear and each pup learns to understand their elders or get thrown out.

Domestic dogs also begin socialization in their litter and when they come into a human family, socialization with humans begin. The initial socialization period of a dog is four to 12 weeks. It is during this time that social skills are imprinted on them and their interaction with other dogs and humans is, hopefully, positive. The socialization then should continue into adulthood. But many dog owners choose to adopt older dogs who sometimes were not socialized during this time.

When a dog owner brings an adult dog into their home, it's important to find out early on how socialized he is. His initial interaction with you will be telling - is he fearful or aggressive? Does he back away when you approach or send warning signals such as raised hackles? When you take him on walks, is he nervous around different sounds and sights? Does he shy away from people or other dogs? If you see any of these signs, it's likely he was not socialized well in his early days. But there are several things you can do to socialize your adult dog with other dogs and humans.

Socializing an Adult Dog with Other Dogs

Take Your Dog Out to Observe

  1. Go to a dog park but don't go in.
  2. Allow your dog to watch the other pups and observe their behavior.
  3. Everytime a dog comes near the fence, give your dog a treat. This creates a positive association with other dogs.
  4. If your dog reacts aggressively towards the dogs in the park, move further away and slowly move up until he is quiet.
  5. Resist Tugging While Walking

    When out walking and another dog comes into view, resist jerking on the lead and yelling at your dog. This reinforces seeing other dogs as a negative experience. Instead, distract your dog with a treat or toy, use the command "Watch me!" and praise him when he pays attention to you.

    Go to Obedience Class

    This is a great way to help socialize an adult dog before attempting going into dog parks or having playdates. Because your dog is learning commands, he is distracted most of the time. Speak to your trainer about the issue and she can help you introduce your dog slowly to other dogs in the class. This is also a safe place for your dog to learn to interact with other humans.

    Socializing an Adult Dog with Humans

    The first step is to socialize your dog with your family. This is best done slowly and patience is a virtue here. Dogs and humans speak a different language so you'll both be learning how to communicate.

    Ignore Your Dog

    When your dog runs to hide from you, don't go after him and pull him from under the bed. Ignore him and do something that will persuade him to come out like playing with his toys or frying up some bacon. Dogs are c...

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How to Stop Unwanted Barking

How to Stop Unwanted Barking

Humans are tremendously vocal creatures. Despite our own talkative tendencies, we tend not to appreciate "excessive" vocalizations from our dogs. Rest assured, your dog does not feel her barking is excessive. When she barks, she is trying to communicate with you. Learning why she barks is the key to stop your dog from barking.

Depending on the reason for barking and your own training skill level, you may need to consult with a qualified trainer/behaviorist to assist you with the training. For more on selecting a behavior professional, check out the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior guidelines for choosing a trainer .

Why Do Dogs Bark?

Just as there are many reasons humans speak, dog barking occurs for a number of reasons. Here are a few of the most common:

Distance decreasing: Distance decreasing barking can also be considered attention-seeking barking. The dog is barking to communicate with the owner - "pay attention to me!"

Boredom: Evaluate your dog's lifestyle. How much physical exercise is she getting? How much social stimulation through appropriate play with other dogs? How much play does she get with you? Is she getting adequate mental stimulation in the form of both training and problem solving? If your dog is barking because of boredom, consider more physical exercise, more positive training, and introduce new toys and games for environmental enrichment (consider Buster Cubes, Kong toys, kibble hunts, Nina Ottosson toys, marrow bones, chew toys, bully sticks, antlers, etc.).

Frustration: While some frustration barking is boredom barking, not all boredom barking is frustration barking. Often in class, dogs bark when their owners have poor timing or because the rate of reinforcement is too low, the dog is frustrated because the signals are unclear. This dogster thread will help you improve your training skills.

Dogs also bark out of frustration when they are not sure what is expected of them - if you are asking for a behavior in a new environment without sufficient proofing, your dog is communicating to you that further training is needed before she can focus on cue response in that environment.

Separation distress/anxiety: True separation anxiety (destruction to self or property) is a topic beyond the scope of this article. If your dog is injuring herself or destroying your home, please seek the assistance of a behaviorist in addressing the issue.

If you believe your dog has separation distress (limited vocalization, no injury to self or property), consider how long she is left alone - if it is more than eight hours for an adult (even shorter periods of separation are recommended for puppies), find a dog walker or pet sitter to break the day up. Provide her with mental stimulation through puzzle toys, kibble hunts, etc., when she is alone. Greetings and exits should be low key. If her separation distress worsens, consult with a behavioral professional.

Invitation to play: Some do...

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How to Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience Commands

How to Teach Your Dog Basic Obedience Commands

You can own a dog and not train him but you'll be sorry down the line. Besides giving you a well-mannered, secure dog, obedience training has many benefits. For one, it increases the bond between dog and human. It also helps you understand your dog and helps him understand you. It sets up boundaries for your dog and helps to avoid misunderstandings, such as the belief that it's OK to eat the couch. It actually helps prevent behavior problems such as digging and jumping. And it increases confidence in both you and your dog.

Once your dog has graduated from obedience class (with honors, of course), there are advanced training techniques that might interest both of you. Agility Training is excellent exercise for your dog (and you) and there are competitions around the country. Your dog could go on to earn his Canine Good Citizen certificate or he could become a therapy dog. Not only does obedience training create a well-behaved dog, it opens up opportunities for you and dog to share.

Basic Commands in Obedience Training


  • Stand with a treat in your hand, held in front of your puppy's nose.
  • Say "Sit" and move the treat upwards, toward your puppy's head.
  • As you do this, your pup's backend should naturally sink down into a sit. If not, you can gently push his rear down when you say "Sit" the next time.
  • Praise and give treats when he accomplishes the sit. Practice this several times a day.

Leave It!

  • Have your puppy sit.
  • Place a treat or a toy right in front of him.
  • Say "Leave it!" and keep your hand close to the object.
  • If he moves toward it, cover it with your hand and repeat "Leave it!"
  • Remove your hand again and wait a few seconds.
  • Praise him. Repeat daily and build up the time he has to leave the treat or toy.

Watch Me!

  • Get your puppy's attention and show him a treat in your hand.
  • Slowly raise it to your forehead saying "Watch me!" as you do.
  • Eventually stop using the treat and get him to "watch you" simply by saying the command and raising your hand to your face.


  • Have your puppy sit in front of you with a four or six foot leash on and have a treat in your hand.
  • Say "Watch me!" to get his attention,
  • Squat down slightly, pat your thighs and say "Come!"
  • Pull lightly on the lead and pull your puppy gently toward you, hand over hand.
  • Reward with praise and the treat. Practice this for a week or so then, in a contained area such as your fenced yard, start working on it without the lead.

Beyond Basic Commands in Obedience Training


  • Make your puppy sit next to you.
  • Putting the palm of your hand in front of him, say "Stay!"
  • Take a step or two back.
  • If he moves, calmly return to his side and repeat. Keep moving back further when he stays.
  • Reward when he stays, even if for just a few seconds.


  • Get your puppy to sit in front of you.
  • Show him a treat and slowly lower it to the floor in front of him while saying "Down!.
  • If he doesn't go ...

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