In English, this sports discipline for dogs is called “obedience”, in French “obedience” or “canine obedience”. This is the flagship discipline for training and educating your dog, provided in the canine clubs , just like agility . It was born thanks to the “American Kennel Club”, an American canine association whose main mission is to promote purebred dogs. Canine obedience has its origins in working dog sports, including police dogs and security dogs.


  1. How to train your dog and teach him basic commands?
  2. Canine obedience: which dog training accessories?
  3. History of canine obedience
  4. Obedience training and obedience testing: what’s the difference?
  5. Canine obedience training: how long?
  6. Canine obedience: suitable for all dogs?
  7. Before the obedience competition

How to train your dog and teach him basic commands?

  • Seated  :

According to the American Kennel Club, the sine qua non for teaching the “sit” command to your dog is that he remains standing in front of you. If he does not come to you spontaneously, approach slowly, guide him with the leash in order to make it come where you want it. Thus, you make your four-legged friend understand that he must obey you, without being too strict with him.

How to train your dog and teach him basic commands?

In order to teach your dog the “sit” command, two methods are available to you. Choose the one that speaks to you the most:

1st  method: kneel in front of your dog and prepare a treat in your hand, as a reward. Place the treat  right in front of your dog’s nose and say “sit” as you raise the treat gently above his head. From now on, there is a good chance that he will sit looking up, as soon as you say the word “sit”. If he pulls back, gently put your hand on his hindquarters and make him sit down. Always reward him with a treat, whether he needed help to pass the dog obedience exercise or not.

2nd method  :  sit directly in front of your dog, place one hand on his chest and the other immediately behind his hind legs. Say “sit” and press gently against his chest to get him to assume a sitting position. As soon as he is seated, reward him with a treat.

  • Lying down  :

You also have two options for teaching your dog the “down” command. Choose the most consistent for you:

1st method  :  to train your dog and make him understand that he must lie down on command, kneel to his right and place your left hand on his shoulders. Then place your right hand just behind his front legs. Say “down” by pressing gently on his shoulders. Slide his front legs until your dog is down. Caress her back for a few seconds, allowing her to relax and encouraging her to stay in this position. Praise him and let him enjoy a treat.

Use some sort of end-of-the-game keyword. Let your dog get up, praise him and reward him again. Repeat the exercise several times, to bring your dog back to the lying position. From now on, your dog will take this position, as soon as you give him the order.

2nd  method:  place your left hand on your dog’s shoulders while you present a treat with your right hand in front of his mouth. Say “down” and slowly place the treat on the ground between his paws. Then slowly pull it forward to get it away from your dog. As soon as your dog is down, let him eat the treat.

  • Rest  :

This canine obedience command is meant to keep your dog in his position, until you say the key word to end the exercise or decide to give him another trick. It is important that the commands you give your dog are clearly delineated by a beginning and an end, both of which are clearly perceptible to your companion. Do not perform this exercise with food in hand. It would only encourage your dog to follow you to give it to him. Train your dog to succeed at this command by going away and saying the key word as soon as you return. If you feel your dog is going to give up the position, repeat the “stay” command.

Canine obedience: which dog training accessories?

  • Clicker training  is a method based on the principle of positive reinforcement, which is based on scientific foundations. With the clicker, make your dog understand what you expect of him. The clicker is a dog training accessory that emits a particular sound as soon as you click on the button.
  • At the same time, you can quite pronounce a specific word. According to critics of the clicker, the use of words would further strengthen the bond between a dog and its owner. In the field of canine education, as for example within the American Kennel Club, the clicker is an accessory used very frequently.
  • Leash is also an essential accessory for training your dog, according to the recommendations of the American Kennel Club. Get your dog used to enjoying carrying his collar  and to be attached to his leash.

History of canine obedience

Historically, working dogs have learned to obey orders, which differ depending on the field of activity of the dog. For example, sheepdogs have learned to guide their flocks in a direction indicated by their master. These dogs enjoy playing with Pezzi balls which they like to move forward, reminding us of this faculty.

Obedience training and obedience testing: what’s the difference?

The biggest difference between these two disciplines is that a dog receives much more treats , as part of training, training. For example, the goal might be for the dog to perform better than in competition in order to receive rewards. Train your dog for obedience without systematic rewards. At the end of each obedience session, still reward your companion with a treat.

The discipline called dog obedience is characterized by very simple commands such as “sit”, as well as by high level competitions, such as those practiced by the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club. During these canine obedience competitions, the difficulty of the orders, the precision of the execution and the general performance are all elements evaluated by the jury.

For the dog to be qualified as “obedient” (as opposed to the designation “educated”), it must actually react to all the requests of its master. The masters take great pleasure in practicing this discipline alongside their dog, especially if the latter is gifted in obedience. In the same way, dogs enjoy performing these exercises in the company of their master. If a dog is not very obedient, it can quickly become painful for his master and those around him. Finally, in society, it is extremely important that a dog obeys his master, in order to prevent a stressful situation from degenerating, for example.

Canine obedience training: how long?

Training your dog through canine obedience exercises can be laborious and difficult. It depends on each dog, the method used and the faculties of the master or trainer. The level of difficulty of the training will of course determine its duration. It is said that it is easier to educate some purebred dogs than others. The German Shepherd and the Border Collie are considered to be obedient dogs that are easy to train. The detail to never forget when practicing canine obedience is regularity! Obedience training can serve as preparation for other disciplines dog training for your dog at It is essential that the dog and the handler have a good relationship, for a successful training, whatever its type. This link can be strengthened by fun activities  practiced together. When the master and his dog form a good team and practice activities together, which they both enjoy, it improves their bond! Once again, this is a sine qua non condition for the smooth running of obedience sessions.

Surrounded by an active family, a dog can practice a wide range of activities. It is important that the dog shows his enthusiasm for the practice of the latter.

In general, the dog assimilates the basics of canine obedience six to ten weeks after the start of training. During this period, the master learns to communicate with his companion and to teach him the simplest orders. Most types of obedience training involve teaching your dog commands. Teach your dog to walking correctly on a leash is a first lesson in obedience. Once this teaching is assimilated, the dog can learn much more.

Canine obedience: suitable for all dogs?

Some dogs show more enthusiasm when their handler offers them tracking exercises. This can manifest itself in your dog looking for treats where he is, in order to reward himself (self-reward system).

The meaning and purpose of canine sports  is of course to have a good time with your dog. It’s obvious: you both have to enjoy it! To judge his abilities in terms of canine sport, take a look at your dog’s physique. It is said that dogs with relatively short legs are not made to run alongside their master, by bike . If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to contact the breeder or your veterinarian. They will be able to advise you on the most appropriate canine sports for the physique of your little companion.

Before the obedience competition

Obedience training can in some cases lead to obedience competitions, for dogs and owners wishing to do so. Of course, there is no obligation. You can participate in obedience training just for fun and to teach your dog to be obedient.

If the handler and the dog share a great pleasure to practice this discipline and that they wish to take part in competitions, the handler will have to pass an examination with his dog. This is a mandatory condition to be able to participate.

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