For some, the idea of training a dog may seem like an unnecessary ordeal, especially for someone who has never had a dog before. Some may ask, “Does my dog really need training?” Well, the answer is “yes” if your dog doesn’t know any commands at all. There are some commands that a dog really needs to know to keep it, you, and your family safe. Most are not difficult to teach, and they are important to ensure the safety of everyone involved with your pet. Here are some commands that a dog really should know.
1. Their Name. While a dog’s name is not a command, and it should not be used to direct your dog without an actual command accompanying it, a dog’s name is the fastest way to let your dog know that you are in fact talking to it, and it will be easier for you to get a dog to focus by using their name. While your dog is a puppy, or while you are around your dog, constantly tell your dog its name. When you are giving it a treat, when giving a bath, or when simply playing.
2. Sit. It is extremely important for a dog to know how to sit when commanded. This can be important for several reasons. Perhaps your dog is about to jump on someone, is running away, or is in danger of jumping onto something dangerous, such as a tall dog onto a hot stove. Teaching your dog to sit immediately when told, you could save your dog or a person from harm or discomfort.
3. Come. Teach your dog to come when told. For dogs that like to run after objects or take off across the dog park, “come” can save you a lot of running. Just be sure you teach your dog “come” before letting them run off. Hollering “come” once your dog is too far away for you to back up your command if they don’t listen, won’t help you any, and will make your dog ignore the command when it’s given.
4. Lay Down. Lay down could save your dog from getting into something it’s not supposed to, but it could also save you from the constant stares of your dog while you are trying to eat. Get your dog to lay down, and then teach your dog how to lie on its own bed.
5. Leave it. I cannot stress how important this command is for your dog’s well-being. If your dog is about to grab something dangerous, such as a mushroom from a park, or chase after a skunk, “leave it” could save you and your dog a lot of vet visits and/or baths with tomato juice.
6. Drop It. In the event that your dog doesn’t leave an object alone, or you find him/her with something they’re not supposed to have, “drop it” can save lives, including that of your daughter’s favorite dolly.
7. Stay. Stay is important for if a dog is about to run off, or if your dog is coming back to you. Sometimes just telling your dog to come can be dangerous, especially if you’re trying to retrieve them from across a street. However, “stay” can save a lot of trouble and possible pain. If your dog knows to stay where you tell them, there is a much better chance that your dog will stay out of trouble.