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Blog Dog Training 101

People often remark how they wish they had a dog as well behaved as my Coco. She does not need to be on a leash, she does not run away or chase things, she will sit or lay down and stay until I release her, she drops food from her mouth easily, she will ignore chasing a squirrel on command, she will wait to eat her meals if I command her to and will even stop eating if I tell her to leave it. She does not bark unless commanded, she is polite and friendly and is welcome at the bank, area stores and restaurants. She is a great dog! (And she was a rescue from Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League)

If I had to equate Coco’s behavior and abilities from training, I would say she is a PhD. She did not get there overnight, in fact it took me a good 3 years of consistently working with her to get her to this level. Her training has served 2 purposes: 1) she truly is an enjoyable and fun dog to have as a member of my family and 2) she is happy, well-adjusted and secure because she knows exactly what I want and expect from her.

Like everything in life, it all starts with the basics. Learn them, repeat them and build upon them.

Every dog regardless of age and owner should know and follow the following basic commands:

1.Sit – This is definitely one of the most common and easiest commands to teach your dog and forms the foundation of obedience training. Teaching your dog to sit is building block of all other commands, ideally your dog should remain in a seated position until you release them. The Sit command is great to use for receiving treats, control while in a large crowd of people, or loading up the car for a trip. There are so many situations to use this command. Sit can also be used to teach your dog control and patience. Think of Sit as how humans say please. (link to Developing good behaviors in your pup)

2.Come – Unlike the other commands, “come” is an active command. Come is the most vital command to master, especially if you are dealing with a playful pup who wants you to play chase with him. For this reason, Come is the command that may prove the most challenging. If there is something better going on than being by your side they just may not listen. A lot of patience and consistency is needed for this command, but do not give up. Come simply means come to me right here and right now. If you are envious of dog owners who can walk their dogs without a leash, rest assured they and their dogs have mastered the Come command.

3.Down- the “down” or lay down command helps to calm your dog down. It’s a great command for when your dog is too hyper around other dogs or gets
excited when you have a guest over the house. Its main purpose is to take back control of the dog and calm them down.

4.Stay – This command is a follow up from the sit or the down command. It’s more of a command to tell your dog to remain where they are currently located until you release them. This command is the most resourceful of all the commands on this list. Telling your dog to sit or lay down where there are a lot of distractions may only work for a short period of time. That is where “stay” comes in to play. It’s insurance for the sit and down command. It tells the dog to not move until you say so. Stay is a great tool for keeping your dog safe when crossing the road, cooking dinner or ensuring their safety in unfamiliar situations.

5.Drop It – The lifesaving command, “Drop It” is another command that can take some time but with patience and consistency will work. Dogs can get into anything and everything, which makes this a lifesaver command. When training for this command you want it to be instant. The second you say “Drop It” your dog should drop whatever is in his mouth. More times than not it’s going to be something that shouldn’t be in their mouth in the first place. This command is highly effective when they have something questionable or hazardous in their mouth, making it the lifesaver command.

All the commands to some degree are lifesaving. Every dog should be familiar with these commands. If you are having trouble with obedience with these commands feel free to contact VIP. We have certified dog training to help your dog know and understand what is expected of them and to teach you to deliver it to them calmly and effectively. Call Susan Kynkor our Director of Training today to schedule a free consultation.

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