Building a stronger bond, instilling discipline

Classes are open to all ages, focus on positive reinforcement



The first session of the dog obedience classes start on May 22 and will be offered every Tuesday through June 26.

CHLOE GRUNDMEIER, Evergreen reporter

The bond between a dog and its human is vital to the success of the relationship. Dog obedience classes are a way for this bond to be strengthened.

Denise Waiting has trained dogs professionally for over 25 years, and will be hosting dog obedience classes through Pullman Parks and Recreation that teach owners how to train their dog.

“Dogs and humans are both social creatures,” Waiting said. “Having a socialized, well-behaved dog keeps the owners happier and keeps the dogs out of the shelter.”

Classes are open to anyone of any age, and are family friendly. They are positive-reinforcement based to help build the bond between the dog and the human.

Having a strong bond is important because it enforces respect between both parties, Waiting said.

“The dog has to have respect for you to learn, and you have to have respect for the dog as well,” she said.

Having a strong bond and respect both ways can open up opportunities for the human and dog to do things together, such as competitive dog sports and pet partnerships with the hospital. This kind of training also allows for the human to be able to read their dog better and thus ease a relationship that could be strenuous, Waiting said.

The dog obedience classes start at the puppy level, which teaches basic manners and socializing. Next is the basic level which teaches the dog basic commands like sit, stay and how to meet and greet people without jumping, barking or being aggressive.

The advanced level is a further extension that teaches the dog more behaviors that ends with a test that if passed certifies the dog as a “K-9 Good Citizen.” Waiting said most participants in the program start at the puppy level and move all the way up to get the best experience.

Dog obedience training not only teaches commands for certain moments, Waiting said, but it also gives the dog mental stimulation that can keep it from becoming destructive.

“Many dogs are destructive because they’re bored physically and mentally,” Waiting said. “The training makes their minds work, and keeps them from being destructive.”

The first session of dog obedience classes starts May 22 and will take place every Tuesday through June 26 at Ampersand Oil and Vinegar Tap House in Moscow and Lewiston.

Puppy level classes begin at 6 p.m., basic level classes start at 7 p.m. and advanced level classes are at 8 p.m. Registration is $65 for Pullman residents and $67 for non-residents.

“I love seeing the light come on when the handlers realize they’ve succeeded,” Waiting said. “It’s why I’ve done this for so long, I love helping the humans, and the dogs, succeed and be proud of themselves.”