What is obedience for dogs?

The definition of obedience (according to an online dictionary) is: "Situation in which a person or animal is willing to do what is asked of it". But also "Submit to a rule, law, code of conduct, etc.." .

Thus, if a dog disobeys, it would mean that he does not submit to a rule and/or is not prepared to do what is asked of him. But is that right?

Obedience is training

When someone complains that their dog is disobedient, I always ask them what they mean by that. After asking a number of questions, it often turns out that the dog is not trained in obedience. He is then invariably called stubborn.

Obedience is not a congenital characteristicIt has to be learned. The dog must therefore be trained in obedience. This may sound obvious, but it often goes wrong.

As a dog does not come Whenever he is called, it is always - assuming that his hearing is all right - a matter of poor training. Never from a stubborn dog.

If the training has been properly initiated, the name of the dog should be a attention value (He looks up), followed by a clear command such as "here" or "come for" or "peanut butter" if necessary. If the dog comes, he is richly rewarded for good behaviour.

"Yes it is a ... race he!"

The most heard and biggest There is a misconception that obedience is a breed-specific thing. Any dog can obey. Provided the reward is big enough and always bigger than the reward for not listening. Are you still following me?

The level of obedience depends, of course, on the commitment of the owner. Dachshunds are perceived as stubborn but are so because most dogs are stubborn. Dachshund-owners do not put too much energy into training obedience. And so prejudice continues. They are dogs which are bred to work independently and therefore require more effort.

Shepherds and retrievers are not born obedient; there is no gene for obedience. However, training these dogs usually requires less energy because they were originally bred to work with people. But this does not make them smarter or more obedient than any other dog.

Learning skills versus obedience

Dogs do have different degrees of learning ability but this is independent of obedience. Learning ability stands for the amount of associations the dog needs (repetitions) and how much time it takes before he understands something.

See also:

Fast learners are often less able to remember and need multiple repetitions (Malinois and Maltese) while slow learners have excellent long-term memory (Basset and Alaskan malamute).

Then there are breeds that need a processing time before the proverbial penny drops. These include the Bull terrier and Pyrenean Mountain Dog who are then mistakenly referred to as 'stupid'.

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