Just as every new human member of a household must be trained to behave properly, so must dogs. Everyone in the household is better off if the dog conforms to the behavior expected of it. That applies to the dog, too.
By nature, your dog wants your approval. He wants to please you (most of the time, anyway!). But he can’t do that without being taught what you expect of him.
During your dog’s life you may decide to teach it to perform all manner of impressive tricks and tasks. Those are optional. But the following types of training should be considered as absolutely essential for every dog owner.
Teaching your dog basic obedience is also a necessity. While an obedient dog is a pleasure to be around, the opposite is also true – a disobedient dog can be a real pain!
You can take your dog’s training to a much higher level if you choose to, of course. But at the very minimum, your dog should learn to respond to the following basic commands:
- Sit. This basic command helps you to keep control of your dog no matter the situation, and is a good command to teach first.
- Drop. This teaches your dog to instantly drop whatever is in its mouth. (Could save your dog from harm if it ever picks up something dangerous or toxic.)
- Stay. Teaches your dog to remain still, calm, and in one place.
- Heel. Teaches your dog to stay close to you as you walk, with or without a lead.
- Come. Teaches your dog to immediately come to you upon your command. You should begin to teach this command to your puppy as soon as it recognizes its name. This command could potentially help you protect your puppy from harm.
There are a number of dog-training methods available for teaching your dog these commands, but the I believe that positive reinforcement is the best method.
Positive reinforcement rewards wanted behavior rather than punishing unwanted behaviour. This method of training makes learning more enjoyable for your dog, and will help to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Start with the Basics
Teaching your dog the basic commands of obedience will make your household a much more pleasant place.
Your dog will be happy because it wants to please you, and because it wants to reap the rewards of good behaviour. You will be happier because your dog will be more manageable and will enrich your life.
And visitors will be happy not to have to endure a poorly behaved pooch rampaging through the house!
Credit: Dr. Eloise Bright