Obedience training is most important, indeed vital, for such a large and strong dog.
Learning basic commands like “sit” (wait for me to start moving again), “stay” (stay where you are until I come back), “heel” (walk politely beside me, on-lead, without pulling), and “come” (also known as “recall”; come to me when I call the word and make this gesture) are extremely valuable, especially if your dog will be associating off-lead with other dogs, or if you have young children.
Modern obedience training is fun for both dog and owner, and greatly enhances their bond.
Obedience training costs about $50 a year, to attend once a week, often on weekend days in parks all over the country. We recommend all dogs attend for at least three months, though attending for longer will result in huge benefits.
Dogs should start attending obedience classes from 3 months of age, but it’s never too late to start! We recommend continuing obedience classes until at least 12 months of age. It is essential to spend a few minutes every day at home to reinforce the class learning.
Many local vets have a “puppy pre-school” class, which are also very helpful. Puppy pre-school is very valuable for early socialisation, meeting other dogs and being handled by other people. These early experiences have a life-long benefit. Puppy preschool can start as soon as you take your puppy home, as all pups in puppy pre-school have been vaccinated.
Over four weeks, one night a week, an expert gives tips on grooming, washing, feeding, exercising, playing and living with your dog, and most importantly pups get supervised socialisation and a few simple obedience lessons. If you’ve not had a dog before, we recommend these (though, we sometimes disagree with their feeding recommendations, which tend to make the vet surgery more money).