Gutie is 6mo and is incredibly smart/obedient.  He knows how to sit, lay down, come, stay, roll over, play dead, bark/howl on cue, touch an object when pointed to, nose a bell when it's time to potty, heel, dance in a circle, jump through a hoop, kennel up, high five, shake, wave hi/bye... among other various tricks.  I've heard that training classes are also an excellent way to teach good behaviors and socialize but Gutie is such a good boy.  He doesn't jump on anyone (children especially) or growl/snarl.  He plays weekly with a 6mo old Golden Doodle and sometimes his littermate, plus all the pups and people he meets at the dog park/walking around/the beach.  Is there any other compelling reason I should do obedience training?

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Comment by Judith Andre on July 21, 2015 at 2:41am

I agree with everyone else.  For me one of the greatest things about training in a club setting is the many like minded friends I have made.  I still have friends I made training/competing in obedience almost 40 years ago.  Now I train and compete with Murray in agility.  I personally think the agility people and dogs are even more fun than the obedience people were.  It has greatly enriched my life and Murray's and created a bond that is like no other I have had with a dog....and Murray absolutely loves it and all  the doggie friends he has made.

Comment by susan on July 20, 2015 at 12:05pm

I agree with all the others - its not absolutely necessary, but your dog will love it - especially if you find the right group to train with.    It sounds like you have done a lot with your pup already.  Have you checked out "Do More With Your Dog" for trick training?  Its online.   It is a wonderful program and you can get trick titles doing it.  Many clubs are now providing trick training classes and helping you toward titles.    From what you describe, you could probably qualify for the novice title, it not the advanced.  Keep at the trick training - its wonderful for your dog.  And I highly recommend a class in agility, rally or obedience if there is any available to you.  A smart pup like Gutie will love going to class!

Comment by Linda on July 18, 2015 at 11:15pm

Max was 5 when I got him, he was well socialized with dogs, cats and people.  From his personality I felt he would make a good therapy dog so I decided to go thru obedience training with him even tho he knew commands.  I have obedience trained all my dogs thru our local dog club.  After the beginners obedience class I spoke with our trainer and she felt Max was ready to go for his CGC which was combined with TDI training.  Max passed his CGC with ease.  A little more work on the TDI and we went for his certification, he passed that on the first try...the only one in the class that did.

I always enjoyed the training with my dogs,  it was a good bonding experience for us.  At the time we didn't have a dog park so the socialization was good and I learned a lot from the trainer.  In fact I had her with all my dogs up to and including the CGC and TDI.  She has since passed away and has left a big hole in the canine community.

Comment by Beth on July 18, 2015 at 8:22pm

It depends on your circumstances.   We live near a busy park, so I had plenty of chances to socialize my dogs with dogs and people of all ages and types, as well as do obedience work around increasing levels of distraction.  Many people find it challenging to find that type of environment to work in, and in that case classes can be helpful even if you are a pretty good trainer.

I took Jack to CGC/ TDI classes when he was coming on two.  It was our first formal class.  Honestly, we were acres ahead of nearly all the dogs there, all of which had gone through some levels of formal classes before CGC.  It was fun enough, but what we got out of it was mostly access to the equipment for Therapy Dog testing-- wheelchairs and walkers and stuff like that.  

When I got Maddie, who was already 4, it was helpful to have the one-on-one time with her that taking her to classes provided.

Agility training, on the other hand, has served us well even though we never went on to compete.  Some of the commands are great when out hiking.  For instance, for an awkward height log that the dog is trying to decide whether to go over or under, or is trying to scramble on and might slip, having a "jump" command is priceless.  It also comes in handy when there are puddles in the road and you don't want your dog running through them.  I don't know if all dogs will generalize from ring equipment to natural obstacles like Jack did, but he'll jump puddles, ditches, and small branches on command.

The "walk it" command used for the dog walk is also handy when we hike and there are muddy crossings where someone has laid down a log or makeshift bridge.  The dog, of course, wants to go through the mud.   The human does not want to bring home a muddy dog.  "Wait" followed by "walk it!" in a bright voice and lots of treats after the crossing has saved us many a muddy car and bath at the end of a  hike.  

Comment by Jane Christensen on July 18, 2015 at 4:50pm

" a smart trainer" haha Anna! I always thought I was and then there was Sage...she was a very good dog but still needed some "fine tuning" Although I had taken all my Corgis except Wynn to obedience classes...I enrolled her in the AKC classes we have quite a distance from where we live. I learned so many new things that I never had to train my other Corgis on. The people and puppy socialization is good and I would recommend. We took 3 classes Sage  "got it" and her CGC plus is a certified Therapy dog...I think it's worth the time and effort. You do need to make sure they are positive in training though, I visited the class before I took my 1st dog and would recommend. What I liked about the club we went to was that the instructors were involved in the obedience part with their dogs and several instructors had their own dogs there as students!

Comment by Frances P Moloney on July 18, 2015 at 1:30pm

I think puppy obedience training classes are a bit like mother & toddler groups, where we talk about how important it is to socialise our little treasures (two legged or four legged), but actually it gives us a chance to compare notes with like minded people who happen to be at a similar stage in life. It sounds as if Gutie is hitting all his developmental milestones nicely, but you & he may enjoy furthering his skills.

I personally like these activities because the people I share my home with (one husband, two teenage sons) look at my beautiful Bella & Dougal and see .....dogs. They are not as excited as I am about minutiae of Corgi behaviour whereas another lady in my community who shows Rough Collies can converse with me for 20 minutes about the latest events of the show-ring / breeding. Discussions on canine diet, vets, crate-training, grooming tools, managing behaviours etc. are rivetting if you are with like minded people but can turn the disinterested into stone!!

So I'd say go for it: you will probably both have a great time.

Comment by Vicky Hay on July 18, 2015 at 10:19am

Well, Ruby hasn't had obedience training...not because I didn't plan to do so but because six surgeries over a year have kind of limited what I can do. She's fine all the way around. I've done obedience training with...what? three? four? dogs now, so I know how to do it.

But to my mind the value of the obedience training is as much in the socializing as in the learning not to bowl the humans over and resisting the urge to bring down a pick-up truck by the oil pan. The dog gets to socialize with other dogs and learn how to behave around them (huge!!) and also to socialize with other humans. And I enjoy socializing with the other humans. I suspect dogs enjoy that kind of thing, too.

Agility training probably serves the same purpose. And it's a LOT of fun.  If he heels and sits, you might consider that activity instead of obedience.

Comment by Anna Morelli on July 17, 2015 at 10:56pm

Yes> There are all sorts of reasons depending on the dog and the situation.  Here's what comes to mind in your case.  You obviously have a very smart pup and you also obviously have put a lot of quality time in him, obtaining good results, which makes you a smart trainer.  So we have a great combination here: smart dog, smart trainer and that adds up to years of potential satisfaction and fun as you are both excellent candidates for any dog sport you would enjoy, being obedience competition, agility or any of the other many sports now offered.  A smart dog will thrive on the challenges and new learning, just as you  would not keep a smart child home doing nothing.  You will learn so much more in working this way together and have so much fun in the process.  I would look for a good obedience training Club, if one is available in your area, even if you have to drive awhile to get there, you will connect with others who have similar interests.  If, on the other hand, that's just not your cup of tea, then keep including him in anything you can, he will thrive on the exposure and the companionship.

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