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How Important Is Obedience To You?


Guest Jubilee251
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Guest Jubilee251

I'm just curious about how important obedience and "tricks" are to the grey owners here. Do your dogs sit, lie down, or respond to any other commands?

 

Before we got Molly, I always thought I wanted a dog who would sit, lie down, heel, stay, etc. on command. We've been taking her to greyhound obedience classes, but she is generally so well-behaved that I'm not sure I will ever care if she doesn't bow or sit. Do you find obedience useful, or are you happy with a well-adjusted, polite houndie?

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If I wanted an obedience dog, I would not have chosen hounds in general. Sighthounds in particular. One of the things I truly love about sighthounds is their independent thinking. That said, my dogs are well behaved and polite. For that I give full credit to their racing trainers; Mr Donnell French (Pooter) and Mr. J.T. Riley (Dodger and eventually Cracker). Pearl is a spook who never raced.

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Obedience training...meh. All I want from Wendy is very basic. Housebroken, doesn't dash out the front door, walks well on lead, obeys a couple of simple commands and is polite to visitors. I'm happy with my girl just the way she is.

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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Guest jenznaz

Basic manners are important to me: waiting patiently for meals, not storming the door and not barging in my way when we're leash-walking, for example. But not so much the "sit, stay play fetch" variety.

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Guest burgerandfrey

Obedience training...meh. All I want from Wendy is very basic. Housebroken, doesn't dash out the front door, walks well on lead, obeys a couple of simple commands and is polite to visitors. I'm happy with my girl just the way she is.

 

Our thoughts exactly. Oddly enough our boy Zeke sits on command. His foster family must have taught him that :colgate

 

Our girl Lola does actually sit, but not on command. It's not very important to us. With Zeke it is kind of nice because he will sit and wait when you tell him too. He can get a little overly excited about food and treats, so it keeps him from jumping. Lola is just naturally well-mannered when it comes to mealtime or treats.

 

One command that we did train both dogs is "Down!" when we want them to get off the sofa or our bed. Some dogs (like Zeke) can get snappish if you try to move them with your hands, so commands are much safer... and much easier once your dog learns them. Now we can get both dogs to get down off of our bed and get into their own dog beds just by pointing to their beds and saying "Down."

 

Other than that we just want them to be polite and not too squirrelly on the leash. I think it can also be helpful to train them to come to you on command. In general this isn't hard to do. The hard part is getting them to respond to your voice when they are excited about chasing a squirrel or bolting towards a gate someone is about to open.

 

Sean

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Tricks and obedience are two TOTALLY different things.

 

I've always believe that you shouldn't train tricks until your dog knows the basics (and most tricks start with sitting or laying down anyway!).

 

Obedience was very important to me, until I got George. And now I have come to accept certain truths about George (I'm not generalizing about Greyhounds, I'm talking specifically about MY dog): 1) He is quite handsome; 2) He was quite fast; 3) He had a very decent career; 4) He is an excellent companion.

 

He isn't EVER going to be obedient. It's not who he is.

 

He has learned how to go up and down stairs, sit, down, and heel reasonably well, and he knows what come means, but ... well, let's just say he often declines. As far as stay goes--that's our big challenge. He thinks it's dumb, and I don't, but I surrender! Which is REALLY not like me!

 

My last dog know all the commands (and several different ways to do them!) by voice, hand signals, and whistle commands. He was the smartest darned dog I've ever met. So any dog was going to be a bit of let down--but George, ah, handsome George.

 

I just repeat--fast and handsome, you can't have it all! colgate.gif


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Not that important. Rascal does know a few things: sit, shake, down; taught to her by my late daughter in about 20 minutes. Rascal "can" be very smart, but definitely not about everything. :rolleyes:

 

Ruby won't sit to save her life. Just won't do it. The closest she comes is peeing. :rolleyes:

 

We haven't really tried with Jack.

 

Like gazehund said, if we had wanted "obedience" we wouldn't have picked greyhounds. They are surely not the sharpest knives in the drawer, but like I tell DH, when you're that sweet, you don't NEED to be smart. :wub:

 

My dogs are really good on leash, to the point where people remark on it all the time. They are usually polite to visitors, although Rascal will absolutely maul her foster daddy (she loves him!!). In all they are very well behaved, and that's all I ask of them. :)

Phoebe (Belle's Sweetpea) adopted 9/2/13.

Jack (BTR Captain Jack) 9/28/05--11/2/12
Always missing Buddy, Ruby, and Rascal.

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If I wanted an obedience dog, I would not have chosen hounds in general. Sighthounds in particular. One of the things I truly love about sighthounds is their independent thinking. That said, my dogs are well behaved and polite. For that I give full credit to their racing trainers; Mr Donnell French (Pooter) and Mr. J.T. Riley (Dodger and eventually Cracker). Pearl is a spook who never raced.

 

:nod Agreed.

 

I have a lab that I can teach obedience and tricks with. The greys job is to look pretty :) I only expect manners. They don't have to sit or lay down, but they are not to jump all over guests, steal food or be snarky.

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~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
~ Forever and Always missing and loving Steak, Carmen, Ivy, Isis, and Madi.
Don't cry because it's ended, Smile because it happened.
Before you judge me, try to keep an open mind, not everyone likes your taste.

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Guest caelanarcher

Aaron sits naturally (when he's bored or thinking or whatever), so I took the lazy method and "taught" him to sit on command. Just gave him a treat and said "Sit!" whenever his butt started going down.

 

It has been soooooooo useful. It keeps him out from underfoot when I'm preparing his food, keeps him still when I'm hooking up his harness/leash, and keeps him from bowling over visitors (although we're still working on 100% for that).

 

So like other said, YES to obedience, "meh" to tricks.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

I agree there is a difference between obedience and tricks. I like my hounds to be obedient for their safety, sit, stay (#2 command), leave it (#3 command), kennel (very important with multiple hounds), recall (#1). I have also taught them some tricks, sit-then lay down put a treat on their paw and make them hold until I point at the treat. Tricks are very useful also as they train self-retraint, an important concept for an independant thinking hound. I do obedience and trick training for about 5 minutes each day. The reinforcement helps. I in no way want a border collie that I can teach to draw me a picture, but for the safety of my hounds, they need to have basic commands down so that we have less chance of an escape or injury. JMO

 

Chad

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Guest bluefawn

Penny learned "sit" and "down" each within a couple of days, and "speak" in just one day. But I've had her since she was a couple of months old, and she is just different than any of my other hounds. Candi sits on her own a lot, and I have only had her for about 10 days, so not in a hurry to work on that. None of these are really obedience issues, and they both are responsive when I speak, but there isn't really a time that I need for them to follow obedience commands. They are not allowed on the furniture (except Penny has always slept with me). Candi doesn't offer to get on my bed, but prefers the nice XL wire crate I set up for her in my bedroom. Both of them fetch on their own. The only command I can think of is the one I use when we have arrived at a destination in the car, and I am getting ready to let Penny out of the car, I say "wait", and she waits for me to hook up the leash and open the back car door the rest of the way to let her come out. I will also be teaching Candi this. She's still a puppy, too, and it will take time but I feel that this command is especially important.

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Guest embarkguru

I will have to agree with grazehund and George's mom, Greyhounds and obedience do not go hand-in-hand. I'm not necessary looking for obedience in my greys, just manners. Do not bark...okay, that was a given. No puppy's in the kitchen when I'm cooking. We walk...not drag mommy. If something drops on the floor and the kids get to it first, it is the kids, not the puppy's. We do not snark at our sisters or the skin kids; just move away. If that does not work, got tattle like everyone else. We sniff our visitor's only once and move on.

 

Our first grey was very sharp! She could do all kinds of things and obedience training was something that she just soak up! She was a show off. She didn't mater "sit" until later on in her life. She did not like her bald butt touching anything other than her bed.

 

Lesa

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I'm like most I don't necessarily need a perfect sit but want good manners. That said I found attending obedience classes to be a rewarding experience for both me and the dog. He loved going to the classes and getting fed for an hour straight just for listening and interpreting what I wanted from him. I also enjoyed the socialization with other dogs and humans in a controlled environment.

 

No he's no rally-o champion but we're a pretty tight team together and I credit that to our work in obedience training.

Colleen with Covey (Admirals Cove) and Rally (greyhound puppy)
Missing my beloved boy INU (CJ Whistlindixie) my sweetest princess SALEM (CJ Little Dixie) and my baby girl ZOE (LR's Tara)

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Guest lasharp1209

It is super useful for some dogs. For example, our foster needed to learn that he was not #1 in our household, and among other things, we utilized some NILF methods, i.e. "sit" or "down" before receiving food, etc. It has also been a great bonding experience for my husband to work with him on learning some things, so he built some confidence, and as he is highly food motivated, they have both enjoyed it.

 

So in some cases, like this one, I think it can be really helpful in achieving your goals. The way I figure, it never hurts to teach them a few things, and can be a great experience for you and your dog, and something fun you can do together.

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Guest Jubilee251

I think obedience class is good for me and Molly too. I also enjoy giving her something to work on mentally, but if she never wants to sit when I tell her sit...oh well. She knows to wait for her food, does a down on a hand signal (but not a voice command), goes to her crate at bedtime, so I don't really feel the need to impose more commands.

 

The trainer has two superstar greyhounds that come every time to demonstrate how effective training can be. One of them saw I had hot dogs out for Molly, and immediately came up to me and went through her entire repertoire of tricks without me asking to try to get a treat. :lol I have to admit, it's pretty cool and impressive when they can do that!

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It's not really important to me. But I do want them to know their name, and learn to know what is allowed and what's not. I also try to learn them to sit and stay, but if they can't to any tricks, that's fine.

 

It also depends on the dog.. Gunda was very well behaved, she listened to us, could walk off leash, never chewed on furniture et cetera. But she was not the kind of dog to go to obedience classes or teach all kinds of tricks.

 

Spriet is the opposite. She has really big ears, but I think she still has to figure out how they work. :lol Sometimes I know she hears me, but she just wont listen. But on the other hand, she is a great dog to teach tricks. Turn, bow, give paw, sit.. That's not a problem. (I think that's because there are cookies involved :blush:lol )

That's why we'll go to her first obedience class this thursday. :)

Anne, Sasha & Tapas. Spriet (2002-2015), Tibbie (2000-2015) and Gunda (1996-2009)

www.sighthoundgoodies.com

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Guest shanesmom

Being polite and having good manners is all that is really important to me. Walking nice on leash is also important to me. Elton does know some tricks that he enjoys doing like bowing and laying down on command but it would be okay with me if he had not learned them. He has gone as far as having his therapy dog certification but still does not sit. I don't care if he doesn't sit. He doesn;t ever sit naturally and he was stressed when I tried to teach him so I left it alone.

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Guest krystolla

Some critters really need some sort of training beyond basic manners -- they need something to keep their brains busy. I grew up with golden retrievers, and if a young golden isn't given something to do he's going to invent something. My blue maine coon cat, Xander, was also a must-train kid. He was otherwise a brat all the time.

 

For Hack (the greyhound), I'm teaching him beyond-the-manners stuff mostly because he's a shy guy and it gives him confidence to "win" at the training game. Creating opportunities to tell him he's the most wonderful dog in the world. But we aren't talking rescuing Timmy from the well here -- more like look at my face and get a treat. Touch my hand, get a treat. I just started "back up", as it take a step backwards. A big trust issue for a shy dog, not sure if it's going to work. If over the course of the next year I get a sit I'll be very happy.

 

And if Timmy falls down the well, there's always Xander. :dunno

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Guest PhillyPups

Well, I thought teaching them the basics was important. That was until The Queen came to live with me and she taught me the basics in her own loving way. :lol

 

My greyhounds all had tons of training before they retired, and now they are just that, RETIRED. Do they have manners, sometimes, sometimes not so much. Do they listen to me? Well if Gremlin had a middle toe, she would flip it at me on a regular basis, but then she never walked into a home until she was 11. Surprisingly when she was going to bring the possum into the house and I said DROP IT, she did, I was happy.

 

Do I spend a ton of time teaching them obedience and tricks? Nope, I work full time and our time off is just that, our time to snuggle, play outside, etc.

 

They will rush to see me come in the door, they do not try to run out the door. I am happy. They all know their own food bowls and now know that when eating is done, they run right outside rather than to another dogs bowl. That pleases me. Sometimes they get their names confused, when I say DonnieDude want a cookie? They all think they are DonnieDude and come running to me.

 

I have had a border collie and a bunch of retrievers who all liked the work, as I said, my hounds are retired. :lol

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Guest Harry702

I guess I'm in the minority. I love that we have Harry obedience trained. Not only does it make living with him easier (not that it would be difficult otherwise), but it gives us a way to communicate with him, and provides a useful outlet for his energy through mental stimulation. And frankly, those who meet him think he's a superstar because we're able to communicate with him so well. (I guess it's pretty rare these days.) We'd think he's a superstar regardless, but the fact that others notice it makes him a fabulous ambassador for the breed. Most people tend to assume, like many of the previous posters, that greyhounds aren't successful at obedience training. I have a problem with that. It's just not true.

 

At this point, with a new baby coming in a few weeks, I can't tell you how important it is to me that we have a good dog/trainer relationship. We bond over that connection and I love that I'm able to make Harry happy by teaching him new things that will make me happy. (Our latest command is "Upstairs," which means... you guessed it... go upstairs.)

 

My two cents.

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Some greys do well in obedience an need the extra exercise and brain activity. Most probably don't. We do teach all our dogs some basic commands - off (for getting off the bed etc), wait, come - for safety sake mostly. We also try "feet on the floor" to keep them from jumping, which is helpful when they get excited or people come to the house. And a "drop" or "leave it" command which has actually saved the life of a cat in the yard. no one was more surprised than me when it worked in the heat of the battle!

 

I am considering strongly taking Toni to obedience since I'd love to do therapy dog work with her. She's outgoing, unafraid in all situations, loves people, loves attention, and she's very gentle with seniors and the disabled. She is also one who needs the extra exercise and brain stimulation!

 

One factor to consider when thinking about an obedience class is that greys don't tend to do well in that "class" environment, especially at a big box pet store or training facility. It's too big, too loud and noisy, to much activity away from the class that catches their attention.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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the two hounds have trained us well. We feed on time, give cookies at the usual times, drive them around when commanded, always the long walks at the usual times, scritches, pets, love all as needed. We were trained in a very brief time! I like to think it shows DH and I are trainable and highly intelligent! ; )

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Having had Borzois I knew what the issues were :angry: 'eventually' learn lead walking :angry: Turn off their hearing :angry: appear to turn off their looking back :angry: lie out at full length were everyone walks :angry: counter surf :angry: dig to Australia etc.

Obedience in my Greys was therefore an aspiration, but they did better than I thought being already nicely lead trained and tolerant of handling. My current one will come back when called anpoit half of the time, she needs bait in the form of cheese or a squraker ball thron to really get her interest. She dosent run out the front doot, jumps up in the van when told, goes outside when told, drops anything (except a bone) when told to. So not bad at all really.

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Guest Drumhellergrey

For Ted, we just require the basics. He knows sit , stay, come, not yours, wait, careful, OK, up, down, and lie down. Like others have stated, as long as he does fairly well on the leash, comes when it is most important, then I'm happy. He is well mannered, but can push it with some people. Usually only if they come up to him all excited.

 

The only tricks he knows are "shake a paw" and he is great at catching treats from a fair distance,(up to approxamately 12 feet away).

 

He is not a begger, when it come to food. In fact he can be sitting right beside you on the couch and he will be very careful to turn his head away from you, until he is offered something. He won't get up onto the couch, unless he has permission.

 

Over all, as long as he is calm and has manners, the only obedience we ask from him is to obey the above commands that we taught him.

 

I am the pack leader, and 99% of the time he knows it.

 

I love my best bud, and he loves me back. That is the most important factor.

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