Adding a puppy to the family is such an exciting milestone. Whether it’s a new puppy or an adult rescue, chances are, he’ll need some basic training. Before you dive into more advanced skills, there are a few general commands that every dog should be able to perfect. Commands such as sit and stay may seem simple, but when it comes to your dog’s safety, these skills can be imperative. Below are the 5 commands that we recommend starting with and helping your dog to master first.
When starting your training sessions, especially with puppies, you have to remember that your furry friend is like a baby. You wouldn’t expect a newborn to be able to run, jump and leap, so you can’t expect that right off the bat with a puppy, either. “Sit” is the most natural behavior for a bog, so it’s a good place to start. It’s also a transition command that is often used sandwiched between other commands, so once he’s mastered this, you can move onto other more advanced commands.
“Down” or “lay down” is an especially useful command to be able to gain control of your dog. From a lying position, it’s difficult for a dog to take off or bolt when you’re not looking. For example, if you’re at the dog park and see something in the distance that may startle your dog or cause him to run off, you may want to use the down command to essentially take him out of commission for the time being. It’ll help to keep his focus on staying down, better than the “sit” command would in this scenario.
Another crucial command for safety is “stay.” This command can also be used to keep your dog from running off or to protect him from danger. When teaching this command, you’ll want to start in a spot with minimal distractions. As your dog gets better at the skill, you can start to introduce other stimuli to really master the command and ensure it’ll be effective in potentially dangerous situations where it may be necessary to use.
Planning to let your dog enjoy some time off-leash? “Come” is an absolute necessity for him to learn before doing so. Off-leash time is a great way to let your dog burn off some energy and have fun, but it can also be dangerous to his safety if he isn’t disciplined to come back to you when it’s time. Training him to learn the “come” command, starting in smaller areas such as your backyard, and slowly progressing to larger places such as the park or a field, is extremely important.
Lastly, dogs need to learn the command “heel” so both his safety and yours. If you’re going for walks in a busy urban area with a lot of traffic and pedestrians, he needs to be able to stop at crosswalks, for oncoming traffic, etc. It’s also important for you to be able to control him on the leash, and the “heel” command will make that possible.
Argos Dog Training is Here to Assist
If you recently added a new puppy or dog to the family and are overwhelmed with the training he needs or would just like some assistance from the experts, we’re here to help! Our trainers at Argos Dog Training have years of experience training all different breeds and dogs of all skill levels. We offer both group training classes and individual one-on-one training, which can help to address specific behaviors. Contact us today to set up a consultation!