5 Commands You Should Teach Your Dog


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For time-starved dog owners, training Fido can be an overwhelming task.

Based on her experience, Louise Louis of www.ToyBreeds.com believes most dog training books ask far too much of the typical dog-owning family.

She’s boiled down the absolute minimum number of commands a dog should know. Of course, you can go beyond this, but start here.

1. Sit

The most perfect command. This can stop your dog from jumping on someone, running out a door, leaping at another dog, chasing a squirrel, getting on the furniture, etc.

Make your dog “sit” before giving him any of the things he likes, such as food, toys, going outside for potty breaks and you will help minimize any tendency he has toward aggression as well as enforcing for him who the leader of the pack is.

Remember, dogs are social animals who need a leader and secure place in the pack.

2. Leave It

This is necessary especially for any dog that goes outside. You want your dog to avoid the strange and even dangerous things he may find on his daily walk.

With this command, you also can get him to leave your slippers, pillows, clothes, etc. It’s also the way to teach your dog not to accept food from strangers.

3. Down

use this command both as “down” and as “stay. ” This means he goes down on his stomach and stays that way until I give the next command (#4).

This command is vital for his safety. It will make him wait while you deal with any emergency. Or, if he encounters a strange dog or someone who seems afraid of dogs and you want him out of harm’s way.

Unlike “sit, ” this is a prolonged action. I don’t use “stay” because “down” accomplishes the same thing and provides a physical move that is easier to show and teach your dog.

4. Free

This command lets your dog know that he can now get up. You could use any other word you want to: finished, up, released, take a break, etc.

Down/stay are not effective if there isn’t a release and that’s also what distinguishes that command from sit.

5. Come

Probably the first command people teach their dogs. Again, for both his and your safety, he must learn to come when you call his name.

If you’re walking him and his leash breaks or he darts out the front door as you’re picking up the morning newspaper, this command may save his life by keeping him from a busy street.

This command also enables you take him out and about and have confidence that you can keep control.

That’s it for the bare minimum. Are there other commands that would be helpful? Of course including the ever-popular “go-potty. ”

However, if you start and master these, you will be on the road to a well-adjusted, safe dog that you can take anywhere.

Louise Louis is a certified canine specialist and creator of the popular website on small dogs, http://www.ToyBreeds.com


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