Home: Activities: Obedience


Obedience training has to do with providing your dog the skills needed to become a well disciplined member of your family. Basic skills are taught such as walking on lead, not over-reacting at the sight of other people and dogs, and coming when called.

Many people and their dogs enjoy this training together so much that they compete with one another in order to receive points towards one of several titles. The most common is called the CD for Companion Dog award.

Greyhounds can only be trained using positive incentive methods, preferably food. The whole key to training Greyhounds is to motivate them. You have to make it worth their while to do the obedience exercises. If that is done they readily earn obedience titles. The first Companion Dog was Ch. On-Da-Way Skipper who earned his CD in 1937. Since then Greyhounds have earned 275 Companion Dog titles, 46 Companion Dog Excellent title, 8 Utility Dog titles and one Obedience Trial Championship. That was Julie Hill's red bitch Lily, OTCh The Merry Prankster UDX, TD, NA. In accumulating these titles, a number of Greyhounds have won all breed high in trial awards.

The Greyhound Club of America started offering obedience trials at its 1988 Western Specialty. Now it offers obedience trials at all three specialties: At the Western in Lompoc, CA in July, the Eastern Specialty which is often at Ludwig Corners, PA in September and at the Southern Specialty in Texas in March.

Greyhounds in Tracking

Even though they hunt by sight, Greyhounds have a perfectly functional sense of smell. Tracking is a sport in which dogs are taught to follow human scent. Twenty-one Greyhounds have earned their Tracking Dog titles and eight of those have gone on to earn their Tracking Dog Excellent titles.

Training for tracking titles is based on Chapter seven of Glen Johnson's book "Tracking dog-Theory and Method" The motivation for tracking is food, and the dog is given food rewards on every track except for his certification and test tracks where food is not allowed. It is possible for a handler to lay all his dog's training tracks himself. Some folks form tracking partnerships in which two people lay tracks for each other's dogs. And in some parts of the country there are actually tracking classes. I used to train all my dogs singly and then enroll them in a tracking class to give them eight weeks of practice in tracking strangers.

Because tracking is trained using only positive motivation, the dogs love to track. And seeing them use their extraordinary sense of smell gives the owner a new appreciation of the dog's truly superhuman abilities.



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