Training your dog isn’t difficult, but it does take time and you need to be consistent, patient, and dedicated. Dog training means you’re prepared to enforce any command you give your dog. When you give a command and don’t make him comply, you’re teaching your dog he doesn’t have to do what you ask. Enforcing a command has nothing to do with punishing a dog, it simply means you give a command once and your dog obeys right away and if he doesn’t, you continue working with him until he does. Training is reinforcing the behavior you want your dog to learn and some dogs will learn faster than others. Basic commands can help keep your dog safe. Keep it fun for you and your dog by making it a game and play as you teach him.
Every dog owner should expect their dog to come the first time they’re called. Come is one of the hardest commands for some dogs to master and it can take the longest time to teach. But, it’s one of the most important basic commands every dog needs to know. The first rule to remember is to never call your dog to you and then punish him. This is the best way to teach him not to come. Why would he come if he knows he’s in trouble or will be punished for coming. The second rule is to never chase him if he doesn’t come and always control your anger.
Come is important because it’s one of your best weapons in keeping your dog safe. It can remove him from a dangerous situation and give you better control over him. A dog that responds immediately when called can also be given more freedom when hiking or outside playing. However, keep in mind, even a well behaved dog who comes as soon as he’s called can have his attention refocused if his prey drive is activated by a small animal racing away from him. Dogs with a high prey drive should not be allowed off leash unless they are in a fenced in area, not matter how well they come when called.
Dogs investigate their world with their mouth. They pick things up to see if it’s something interesting. The drop it command helps you keep your dog from snatching up something he shouldn’t have. Instead of prying your dog’s mouth open to try and retrieve something in his mouth, drop it allows you to keep your pet from swallowing potentially harmful food, medications, small objects or toys, or anything else he might find on the floor or outside on the ground. One important thing to remember when teaching your dog the drop it command is to make sure what you are offering him in place of what he has in his mouth is worth trading for, from the dog’s point of view.
This command allows you to keep your dog from picking up something he shouldn’t have. Dogs are always poking their nose in the grass or around bushes to investigate smells and sometimes they find dead animals, like birds or small rodents, hidden in the grass. Teaching your dog to leave it also keep him from picking up something you told him to drop and gives you a chance to remove him from the area or pick up what he dropped.
Sit and stay, like come, is a command that’s extremely important for dogs to know. Sit helps calm an excited dog down. It gives you a chance to put on his leash, feed him his meal, or keeps him from jumping up on someone. The sit command gives your dog a job to do before he gets what he wants, like his dinner or your attention. The stay command keeps him in one spot until you give him the command he can move and it helps you control your dog and keep him in one place, if needed. Sit/stay helps you stop your dog from running out into the street after a ball. It helps you keep control of him when you have company, and it can even help you defuse a meeting with another dog when out walking with your dog.
When giving your dog any command, pick one word or phrase and stick with it throughout his training. If you give him confusing messages by saying “sit” one time and “sit down” the next time, he won’t understand what you expect from him. Focus on one command at a time and practice everyday until your dog learns it. Make training your dog a game. Make it fun, always keep it positive, use a happy tone of voice, and train in short sessions to keep your dog from becoming bored. These four basic commands could one day save your dog’s life.
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