Basic (On-Leash) Obedience Training

Whole Dog University, LLC offers excellent, three (3)  customizable (on-leash) basic obedience training programs for you and your dog, taking into consideration their age, temperament/personality and what your goals are.  All taught in a private lesson format, we have a short 2-week Walk Doctor Program, a 4- week Intro to Basic Obedience Program and a 6-week Comprehensive Basic Obedience Program.  Please contact us for specific content in each program.

Obedience training is not like reform school for bad dogs. The truth is, all dogs can benefit from high-quality on-leash obedience training starting between four and six months of age or older.  While it is true that younger dogs do learn more quickly than older dogs do, a little maturity goes a long way (just like in children).  Also true is that the earlier in life a solid obedience foundation begins to be established, the fewer behavioral problems you should see in your dog.  If your dog is over a year old before you consider obedience training, it’s not too late! Really the only dogs that don’t make good candidates for obedience training are senior dogs in their last couple years of life or those with joint disease and chronic pain.

It’s important to point out that the more commands a dog knows and does consistently when told, the better control you will have over them and the calmer they will become because they now understand more of what you are expecting of them.   Consequently, there is a great positive carry over in all areas of a dog’s life.  That is why it is so important to be consistent with and regularly use obedience work as part of the “job” your dog.  You’ll be glad you did and so will he/she.


Training Includes:

  • Choosing from one of three training program options depending on your dog’s needs and your goals.
  • Learning of both verbal commands and hand signals by you and your dog
  • Learning leash handling skills and how to properly fit, place and use a training collar safely and humanely
  • Learn general principles of dog training using markers and positive reinforcement
  • Teaching of fair, humane split-second corrections in response to undesired behaviors and later, disobedience
  • If warranted, minor behavior problems are addressed
  • Basic principles of pack leadership are emphasized
  • Learning the importance of a calm mind, self-control and impulse control in your dog


  • This training is laying the foundation for all other types of training
  • Provides helpful mental stimulation for your dog
  • Builds confidence in your dog
  • Helps with preventing and/or correcting common behavioral problems,
  • Improving your communication with and the bond between you and your dog.
  • Your dog starts looking to you for direction/leading.


  • Dogs should be 4 months of age or older to begin on-leash obedience training.
  • Proof of recent vet exam and current vaccination (or titer test results if over 16 months old).
  • Dogs with (and/or owners) physical disabilities/limitations are encouraged to participate

Training Format Options:

  • Weekly private lessons for owner + dog
  • Residential Day Training (the dog is trained by us at our facility during business hours, then goes home at night; the owner has at least 4 lessons after dog completes his / her residential training).

This level of obedience training lays the initial groundwork for and is required before more specialized training such as off-leash training, soft-mouth retrieval work, scent detection, tracking and assistance with service dog training (such as public access work) will be done.

Have questions about our basic obedience training course? We can help! Give us a call or request a Whole Dog University consultation.  This evaluation gives you the opportunity to discuss your concerns, meet the trainer, and see if our program is right for your dog.

Request a consultation