Georgia Southern offering dog obedience courses

Tori Collins

Georgia Southern University offers a Beginning Dog Obedience Training course during the semester that takes place once a week for six weeks at the M.C Anderson Pavilion located at the RAC.

This course assist dog owners with training their dogs to follow simple commands, such as ‘stay,’ ‘sit’,  and ‘jump’.

Dogs learn skills such as circling cones, walking a flat narrow ladder, traveling tunnels and being able to be comfortable with being controlled by their owners from a leash.

All the skills are taught by Leslie Sprando, an experienced dog trainer who has been training dogs for 36 years and has owned dogs since she was five years old. She currently owns four Border Terriers, one of which is named Truly. Sprando also competes and has won professional dog competitions.

Putting the dogs through various obstacles using cones, ladders and tunnels teaches the dogs to trust.

“The tunnels and these different things makes trust between the owner and the dog,” Sprando said. “Building trust between the owner and dog is really important to having a good relationship with dog and owner. People can take their dog out in public and feel like they are good members of society.”

Having control of a pet, especially in a public place can help the owner, the pet and surrounding citizens stay safe.

“A lot of families have pets, the pets are like people’s children,” Judy Hendrix the coordinator for Dog Obedience Training said. “ We want to make sure that the pets are good citizens.”

One of the most challenging skills owners experience with their dogs is being able to cohesively socialize with other dogs.

Jada Daniels, a junior biology major and chemistry minor owns a two year old Belgian Malinois and lab mixed breed, named Balto. Daniels has had concerns about controlling Balto while around other dogs.

Hendrix ensured Daniels that Dog Obedience Training would help Balto focus on Daniels’ commands.

“Balto is super hyper and anytime he gets around other dogs or gets excited he does not listen at all,” Daniels said. “He’s always happy, he has such a big personality. It is frustrating at times but it’s definitely rewarding overall.”

Participants are required to pay a $139 fee to join the course, which covers the compensation for the dog trainer, the facilities where the course is held  and the fees for advertising the course.

Dog owners must bring their furry friends on a reliable leash, doggy treats to keep the dogs interactive and encouraged during the course and poopy bags for accidents.

This course is open to students, staff and faculty of GS, as well as members of the community.

Tori Collins, The George-Anne Daily Reporter,