Dogs by nature are curious. They will get into anything they can if given the opportunity. That's why we cannot stress enough the importance of training the "leave it" command. Many dogs have short attention spans or have one-track minds. Once they've got their eyes set on something they really want, it's tough to break through that barrier. By teaching them to "leave it", you will have an easier time redirecting their attention to you instead of whatever it is they're after. Start out by holding a treat in your hand palm closed in front of your dog's nose. When the dog tries to get to the treat in your hand, say "leave it" and pull away.
As soon as your dog's attention has broken away from the treat to you, praise them. If you praise with treats, do not use the hand you're training with. That treat is off limits. Once your dog has mastered leaving the treat in your hand alone, you can step up the difficulty level. Hold the treat out palm open so your dog can see it. As soon as your dog goes for the treat, close your palm and say "leave it." Go through the same process - praise when they revert their attention to you. Once your dog has mastered "leave it" from an open palm, try putting a treat on the floor and walking your dog by on a leash. Anytime the dog goes for the treat, say "leave it" and redirect them away from the treat. As soon as they redirect their attention without reminder or assistance, praise.
The purpose for the "heel" command is to teach your dog to stay by your side. When they are heeling, they are not permitted to walk ahead or behind you, and they are to stop when you stop and walk when you walk. This skill is important because it reminds your dog that you are in charge. It's also extremely beneficial because your dog will not be pulling you along during walks and putting you in a position in which you can't control.
Put your dog on a leash and position them on your left hand side. Have them sit and stay until you're ready to walk. Keep a few treats in your left hand for praising. As soon as you're ready to walk say "heel" and start walking forward. If your dog stays at your side and walks at your pace, give them a treat every few steps. If your dog begins to veer off, call their attention back to you, make them sit and stay and start again once their focus is on you.
After a few sessions of doing this, keep the treats in your pocket instead of your hand and use more verbal praise than treats. Eventually, your dog will learn to "heel" without being rewarded by treats. This is an advanced command and will take time and patience to learn, so just stick with it and your efforts will pay off.
The "wait" command is a great command that you can train your dog to do that will come in handy on several occasions. Whether you're getting them out of the car at the vet's office, getting ready to take them on a leash walk, trying to leave for work in the morning, or even just letting them out of their crate, this command can be a lot of help in controlling your dog's excitement.
To start with training the "wait" command, you first need to eliminate bolting as an option for them. So before opening a door, leash confine, crate, or put your dog in a separate room. That way your dog understands that bolting out the door when it opens is NOT an option. Once you're ready to start on "wait", leash your dog, walk to the door, and ask them to sit. As soon as they do, reach for the door handle. If your dog stands up, let go of the handle and ask them to sit. This may take a few tries. Once you can turn the doorknob without your dog standing, you can give the "go ahead" and reward them by taking them for a brief walk so they don't get frustrated with this exercise.
As you're working on this, extend the time that your dog has to stay seated before releasing them to "go ahead," and work towards being able to open the door completely without your dog taking off before being released with "go ahead." Once your dog has this command down for going outside, it'll be easy for you to use it when crating your dog, and when placing your dog in their safe place such as their premier raised dog bed.
With last week's blog and this week's blog, you've now got 7 essential commands to train your dog. Not only will training your dog these commands make your life easier, but they will also help to keep your dog safe. When training your dog, the PetCot Company encourages positive reinforcement and rewarding. To reward your pet for a job well done, visit our website to get a premier raised dog bed for your fur baby today!
Taking Comfort and Care to a New Level for Pets!
Follow ALL Our Social Media Channels!