You might not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, as the cliché says, but you can teach almost any dog to obey basic commands, trainers and handlers agree.

It's best to begin training a dog at the puppy stage. Start when the puppy is about seven weeks old and keep the daily lessons simple and short, about five to 10 minutes long.

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The art of teaching obedience is overlooked by many dog owners and sportsmen, resulting in an unsatisfactory relationships and missed opportunities for years of pleasure.

Few will disagree that there is nothing more disturbing than an unruly dog that refuses the commands – “ here,” “ sit” and “heel.” Such disobedience often results in injury or death to a dog and confounds the peacefulness of a day afield.

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SANFORD — To the average passerby, the rubble pile at Briggs Excavating looks like no more than what it is: a huge stack of concrete and rebar, remnants of road projects past. To a group of dog trainers, though, it’s a shining opportunity. It looks just like a building that’s been destroyed, and it’s the perfect spot to put search dogs through their paces.

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