By Terry Jester
Dog training is crucial. It doesn’t matter if you own a Chihuahua or a Saint Bernard, a border collie or a pug.
Every owner should teach their dogs at least these three basic commands in order to more thoroughly enjoy spending time with their pets and to keep them safe.
Walking on a loose leash
This isn’t the command “heel." Walking on a loose leash just means not ever pulling while on the leash. This is usually the first behavior tackled in a dog training class.
When your dog is on a loose leash it allows you to have a good time and enjoy your outing. A dog that constantly pulls, charges, and strangles himself is no fun to take out, possibly doing himself damage, and showing the human at the end of the leash that he has no respect for him or her at all.
Pulling on the leash is a certain sign that the dog doesn’t see the owner as “the boss."
Waiting at doors
No dog should ever bolt out the door, especially doors leading to potential tragedy.
Front door, car door, SUV tailgate, all should be “automatic wait" doors, meaning, the dog doesn’t get to cross that line until given permission.
“Wait" doesn’t mean, “stay."
When you tell a dog to “stay" he shouldn’t move until you tell him to move. Telling him to “wait" just means don’t go out the door.
Coming when called
The Holy Grail of dog training, coming when called is the most important thing a dog can learn.
It’s also the hardest to achieve with most dogs.
Most dogs know they have options. Most dogs don’t want to come when called, heading in the opposite direction for a reason. There are other dogs, good smells, kids on bike, cats, squirrels.
Unless you are actually holding a dripping pot roast in your hands you can just about forget it, he’s not coming back until he’s good and ready.
What’s an owner to do?
It’s that simple.
Enroll your dog in an obedience class and actually go to the class. They work. They’re fun, and one might just save your dog’s life.
In the class, you and your dog should also learn “stay," “sit," “down," how to get along with other dogs, how not to jump on people and much more. Your dog or puppy will get much needed socialization, both with dogs, and with people he doesn’t know. There are numerous benefits to going to a dog training class.
Find one in your area and sign up today.
Can’t commit to a weekly class? Try private dog training, more expensive, but less time consuming and geared to your individual needs.
Shelling out $100 for a dog training class or private training might seem like a lot, but compare it to the vet bill if your dog bolts out the door, runs in front of a car or picks a fight with another dog.
The cost of the dog training is nothing compared to the cost of losing your dog.
Terry Jester is a nationally recognized expert on companion animal behavior. She is regarded by The Humane Society of the United States as being, “Humane and effective in dealing with problem pets and their owners." Connect with Terry on her website.