In a perfect world, our clever canines would innately understand what we want them to do and respond accordingly. However, training and socialization are crucial tasks to be undertaken during puppyhood and reinforced throughout your dog’s life.
Having an understanding of basic commands and the rules of the home (and the world) can keep your dog safe and makes him or her more enjoyable. Teaching your dog basic commands can also help prevent an accident or tragedy from befalling your fur friend.
5 Basic Commands to Teach Your Dog
These important commands are a must on every dog owner’s list of responsibilities:
- Sit – This is probably one of the first commands many dogs learn (especially when leash training is involved). “Sit” is useful when out on a walk, waiting for a veterinary appointment, or when you need to curb your pup’s enthusiasm.
- Stay – “Stay” is critical to preventing your dog from running into danger – whether that be bolting across the street or chasing after another dog. This basic command helps prevent an encounter with danger or becoming lost.
- Drop it – Oh, does this command come in handy! Dogs are curious and love to snarfle through dirt, garbage, and almost everything else in this big, fascinating world. Unfortunately, toxic food, poisonous plants, and other potentially harmful items can suddenly end up in your dog’s mouth. This is where “drop it” can save the day.
- Come – If you have aspirations of running your dog off leash, “come” is an essential command. This is a useful command after it’s too late for “stay.” It’s also an important command for your canine to know should he or she wander a little too far away. Dogs who consistently respond to your call are much better prepared for outdoor activities, including off leash playtime.
- Leave it – Similar to “drop it,” this command prevents your pet from chasing after something or someone he or she finds interesting. Since all dogs are curious and predatory in nature, “leave it” comes into play when a dog is prone to chasing animals or investigating dangerous items.
It’s All in the Training
Teaching your dog to respond to basic commands takes time, repetition, and positive reinforcement. We recommend enrolling your dog in professional obedience classes, where you can also learn how to reinforce all the great things your pup is learning. Classes also offer your pet a chance to learn social skills, which reduces the risk of future behavior problems, such as resource guarding, aggression, and fear.
Many pet owners like to use a combination of clicker method training with another reward, like a small treat. As you work with your dog on commands, remember to practice in a fenced-in area before venturing into public places or natural areas.
Leash training is another good idea because it works in tandem with basic commands. The leash also helps you maintain control and keeps your pet’s attention.
All commands will require repetition and daily practice, coupled with positive reinforcement, so it’s best to stick to a routine as your pet learns. For recommendations and referrals, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your training options. We’re happy to help you make safe, healthy choices for your dog.