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Have you ever asked yourself what would be the best gift for yourself and your dog, as well as your family and your friends and neighbours? Dog training is the answer!
Dogs have a life expectancy of 8 to 18 years depending on the breed and how well they are being taken care of. During this time, you want to ensure that your dog is not a nuisance every time you leave or every time you have people over. Dogs are social animals, therefore a cruel punishment would be to deprive them of the opportunity to socialize simply because they cannot behave.
Selecting a training model depending on the dog's personality type, the breed and the age is key to success. If you do not want to invest a fortune of time and money for intensive training, you should at least invest for some basic commands.
In this article, I will cover the five basic commands every dog needs to know.
1. The Sit Command:
The Sit command can be used anytime you need the dog to control himself. It can teach dogs to do the following:
• To sit politely instead of jumping on people
• To sit when you and/or guests are coming in instead of barging on you or ahead of you when it’s time for a walk
• To sit before receiving food, treat, toy or to acquire manners before receiving anything
• To sit to prevent the dog from pulling during a walk
2. The down Command:
The Down command can be used anytime you want the dog to be down or to stay in a specific place for a prolonged period of time. It can teach dogs to do the following:
• To stay down when you are eating
• To stay down if he has done anything wrong
• To stay down if anybody is uncomfortable around him
• To stay down for nap time
3. The Come Command:
The come The Come command is a must have! It can be used for the following:
• The come command when the dog is off leash
• The come command if he decides to chase a squirrel
• The come command if he is heading somewhere he shouldn’t be
• The come command when you need the dog to be next to you in any given situation
4. The Stay Command:
The Stay command can be used when you want to teach the dog to remain in a certain place without moving. It can teach dogs the following:
• To stay after being told to sit
• To stay if he decides to run off
• To stay if he decides to go towards someone or something he is not suppose to
• To stay if you need to go somewhere by yourself
5. The Leave It Command:
The Leave it command can be used when you want to teach the dog to leave things alone when you don’t want him to have it. It can teach dogs the following:
• To leave it when the dog is chewing on something he isn’t suppose to
• To leave it when he decides to take the toy of another dog at the dog park
• To leave it if he tries to eat from a plate that does not belong to him (human or animal)
• To leave it when he wants something that he can’t have
Of the many factors that influence the dog’s training success, you are the biggest one. Regardless of the training model you chose, your approach is the one that has an impact on the dog. Having a good relationship with your dog, and creating a mutually rewarding relationship through training, creates a happy owner and a happy dog. To foster such a relationship it is important to be aware of how the dog’s name is used to change or control a behaviour. Remember, a dog’s name is not a command and certainly not a reprimand. Only use his name to get his attention and/or to be used before a command. Spending quality time together is also important to foster a good relationship, an aspect often overlooked during training.
Volhard, J., & Volhard, W. (2015). Dog training for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.