Basic obedience is important for so many reasons it’s hard to decide what’s at the top of the list. Of course, most of us imagine training results in a dog that is well behaved and obedient, but the truth is that basic obedience is a spring board to so much more. Dogs that bark and lunge at other people or dogs when they’re out on walks often missed the opportunity to socialize as puppies, an overlooked and under emphasized component of training. In fact many behavioral issues that develop throughout a dog’s life are preventable with training and socialization. A couple of important points about basic obedience: 1) You should start at 7 – 8 weeks. From 7 – 16 weeks your puppy’s mind is like a sponge. You can fill it with knowledge about what you do and don’t like and teach your dog all kinds of skills with training. Without training your dog will do as he pleases and begin to develop behaviors that most of us don’t appreciate. 2) If you missed that ever so important window, it’s not too late, but every day that you delay training is another day your dog’s unwanted behaviors become stronger, since most are self-reinforcing. So just start as soon as you can.