Mama Sally: When I get called to help someone train their dog, it’s rarely because someone wants their dog to know a whole lot of commands or fancy tricks. Usually it’s because there’s a significant behavioral issue or issues that need attention. Often it’s because the dog is out of control and the owners want to be able to safely handle him in all potential situations. Rarely do I ever have owners ask me to train their dogs to keep them safe.
The whole reason I train dogs is to help keep them safe. Those simple words: Sit….Down….Stay….Come….Leave It…Watch Me…Drop It…Place…may one day save your dog’s life. Each one of those commands is valid and important. Most people think that Come is “the” command that’s important. If your dog ever escapes your house/yard and runs across a busy road, “Stay” may save his life to keep him from running out into traffic. ALL of the commands have their place of importance, and ALL of them are life savers in the right situation!
This is exactly why I’m an absolute stickler on only saying a command one time. I don’t want a dog ignoring me. Ever. It’s because his life might depend upon giving me that attention. If he thinks I’ll repeat “Come” three times before I really mean it, he may very well be beneath the wheels of a vehicle in the road by then. And as an owner, you may get to be in the front row as a spectator! He needs to learn to respond to a command the first time that you say it in order to stay safe.
- Train your dog
- Only say commands one time
- Work on getting your dog to focus on you with outside distractions
Rugby James: You know what? I’m just a lil dogger what gots a whole lotta fluff between my ears. As a result, I doesn’t always know when I’m safe or in danger. I gotsa depend on my Uprights to keep me safe and know what’s best for me. I kinda always wanna do what I wanna do, but if it’s a dangerous situation, I better be able to listen to the Mama and respond right away, on account of my life might depend on my response in that situation.
- Do you gotsa dogger what is an escape artist from the house? You gotsa teach “Back Up” and “Wait” at the door.
- Will your dogger come when he’s called the first time….even when he wantsa chase a skirrel? He gotsa know “Leave It” and “Come.”
- Is your dogger that garbage scow what wantsa eat everyfing he finds on a walk? What if sumpawdy puts out poison? He gotsa learn “Leave It.”
- Has you ever dropped a bottle of pills on the kitchen floor? Your dog gotsa know “Leave it” and “Stay” sos you can clean up the mess wifout him getting any of them.
- What if your dogger gets ahold of sumping dangerous, and you gotsa get it away from him. He’d better know how to “Drop It.”
- And, if you gotsa dogger what pulls hard on the leash, or criss-crosses all over the place, you gotsa teach him to learn how to walk nicely wif you sos you can stay safe and he won’t pull you down or into traffic!
I’ll just bet you never fought of all of those fings what could happen that could be really dangerous for a lil dogger. So just remember: Commands keep your dogger safe! And that’s why every single Upright should be training their dogger frew at least very basic stuff. Remember that doggers is trusting their Uprights to know what’s best for them and how to keep them safe!