Obedience training: is it worth it?

Yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks.


It is smarter, and probably less time-consuming with a puppy, however, there is no reason why you shouldn’t engage in obedience training for a dog of any age.

Obedience training is the process of teaching your dog how to respond to certain commands and setting necessary boundaries. Through this, it should achieve the desired behaviour in social settings, with people, other animals, and at home. Is there any better feeling than a well-behaved dog?

There’s more to obedience training than new skills and tricks. The positives that come out of it make it well worth the commitment of both time and money. Providing mental stimulation to prevent boredom or mischief, confidence, safety, and a stronger bond, enrolling your dog in obedience training is a sound investment in the long-term well-being of yourself, your dog, and probably your belongings.

It is in a dog’s nature to be a keen learner, and focused on a positive outcome. Most often, outbursts of naughty behaviour are signs they need something, potentially food, water, exercise, or attention.  While it is a valuable tool, it can become a long, expensive, and frustrating journey to get there.

SPCA New Zealand encourages those embarking on that road to keep sessions short and sweet, just five to 10 minutes, and focus on one goal each time. Patience and positivity are key to keep things progressing, and fun.

Benefits of obedience training:

  • Establish good behaviour, to create a positive home environment with fewer negative bursts, and encourage good interaction with guests.
  • As emotive animals, obedience training helps set  a better connection between dog and owner, as you understand their needs and learn the best ways to accommodate these.
  • You will find that through obedience training, a stronger, more-loving relationship emerges. This is through setting boundaries and respect for both  parties, which enable positive actions, ease, and enjoyment.
  • Conflict is avoided, especially in social situations, when your dog is well-trained. Say goodbye to those awkward interactions when your dog growls at another or refuses to give a toy or ball back.
  • Obedience training helps your dog stay safe when out and about, or when interacting with other animals and people. With an obedient dog under effective control, you can feel comfortable taking them off the leash in permitted areas.

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