The classic understanding when it comes to getting a new dog and ensuring he/she behaves well, is to go to obedience training classes. There is another way though…
Dog owner training
The way that I work is essentially dog owner training, rather than dog training. It’s not obedience training, it is a holistic approach to looking at all the areas of daily life which are meaningful to the dogs in question, understanding what their concerns will be, and how to show them that everything is under control – because you, their owners are the pack leaders and are taking care of everything. This means that they will not need to feel stressed in life, worrying about their part keeping everyone safe. Stress in dogs is a major problem in our society, but most owners don’t identify their dog’s behaviour as such, because stress and ‘excitement’ look very similar.
Guidance for dogs
Also I teach owners how to show their dogs the way with certain things that they want them to do (e.g. walking to heel, returning when called), but again, I don’t think of this as obedience, more guidance – because it’s done from a perspective that you are looking after them, so it’s in their interests to do what you ask them to do. Obedience (in my mind) implies that they have to do what you ask, whether they want to or not. Think about how we feel when we are asked to do something by a boss which feels pointless, or makes us feel belittled. Whereas when we fully trust and respect our bosses, we are happy to accept their decisions and often don’t need to be asked not to do something.
So as a result of my owner training you would have a way of life to work to with your dogs which will give them the easiest life possible, and you will have an excellent compassionate understanding of their needs. You will be giving yourselves the best possible chance for behaviour problems not to develop in later life, and you’d have (metaphorical) tools to deal with anything that could crop up. Can obedience training do that, or does it just rely on dogs doing what you say when you say it. What if you don’t say it…?