Obedience; yes or no?
I know a lot of people who never teach their dogs any sort of formal obedience. Their thought is that a dog has their own mind and they don't want to be telling them what to do all the time. Yes dogs definitely have a mind of their own; great minds at that but obedience is not only for bossing our dogs around. Obedience allows us an easy method of communicating with our dogs. I can't imagine not being able to tell my dog; "over here, closer, come, stay etc." And when I do run into people who have not taught their dog any form of obedience there tends to be quite a bit of physical pushing and pulling.
The big 'O' - Obedience (the act or practice of obeying; dutiful or submissive compliance)
In my opinion obedience training is essential, that you can control your dog via verbal or physical cue to listen to you. The amount of obedience training that your dog receives is purely a personal decision; everyone requires different levels of compliance from their dog.
Okay, this is how I really feel about the whole obedience thing excluding obedience competitions etc; just the average dog in the average family. If you have a dog and you are planning in anyway to be around the public; that is in your own home or out of your home in public areas then you need to be able to control your dog! Bottom line. If you have no means of control once so ever; then you and your dog need work. And training starts with very small baby steps and grows as your dog can achieve more success.
If your dog is one of those amazing breeds that pretty much doesn't do a whole lot of anything and you do not want your dog to do anything in particular then you've got it easy. For most people; dogs will be dogs and we must teach them how to act in our human world accordingly. When I speak of control; I am not talking about collar or leash control. Yes in our world both are essential and often they are a last resort control tool but it is essential that you have some sort of verbal control over your dog; how else can you communicate other than yanking on them?
The basics that I feel every single dog should know, understand and follow-out are
a clear understanding of "good" and "bad" feedback sounds
These are the bare essentials of living with dogs. From these basics, the sky is the limit. The more you train your dog the easier it gets. Our dogs actually learn to learn and the more verbal or physical cues you have to communicate with your the better life is with dogs.
So, if I ask you to ask your dog to go to certain spot in the livingroom, down and stay while you have a cup of coffee sitting on the couch; gonna happen? Or not?