When families adopt a new dog, they often only think about playing fetch, cuddling on the couch and going for jogs with their new friend. However, many families forget that taking in a dog is also hard work. Dog owners must put forth great effort to train their dogs to be obedient; a disciplined dog is a happy dog—and a safe one. Teaching a dog simple commands is the easiest way to ensure that the dog is well-behaved.
If you are planning to adopt a dog into your family in the near future, be prepared to teach him these simple five simple commands.
If your dog knows only one command, it had better be “come.” This command signals to your dog that they must stop what they are doing that instant and return to you. The command is a simple one to teach and ensures that you can always call your dog back to you. This is especially important if your dog breaks off their leash or runs out into the street.
Like “come,” “sit” is an easy command to teach[D1] and is important because it helps gain control of your dog when they are too excited for their own good. For example, if you are getting ready to take her for a walk but cannot attach her harness or leash, a simple “sit” will tell her that she needs to stop bouncing around and sit down immediately while you prepare for the walk. “Sit” is also good for when new people enter your home, to prevent your dog from jumping on them. You can also teach her the “off” command to keep her from jumping on guests.
Have you ever tried wrangling a chicken bone or a dead bird from your dog’s mouth? Of course, your dog cannot understand why you so desperately want to deprive them of the pleasure of an old squirrel carcass, but sometimes you know better than your dog. Rather than having to wrestle the item away, teach the “drop it” command so that the dog knows to release the item in question right away.
Unlike “sit,” “stay” can be a difficult command for dogs to learn, but it is incredibly important. It can teach a dog with separation anxiety that they cannot follow you everywhere you go, and it can protect them if the dog is ever in danger. Imagine you and your dog become separated by a busy road. Their first instinct may be to run to you, but if you use the “stay” command, you can have your dog wait until you can safely cross to them. It can also stop the dog dead in its tracks if they are on a mission to chase a critter out of the yard.
All dogs need daily walks, regardless of their size. Thus, you must train your dog to behave on leash, and the “heel” command will help. By telling your dog to “heel,” you ensure that he walks alongside you, rather than ahead of you, tugging at the leash. You can also use this command if you encounter other people and dogs during your walk, to keep him calm and close by your side.
Once your dog has mastered these important commands, you can move on to the more exciting commands—or tricks, rather. Commands like “shake,” “roll over” and “play dead,” while not essential, can be enjoyable for both you and your dog, keeping your dog’s brain active and maintaining the discipline you have instilled during basic training.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.